Beautiful Life and Style

Eye Opening Os Gemeos Mural in Boston


This past weekend I was mindlessly wandering around Facebook when I came across the “Boston, Massachusetts” page and noticed that someone had posted a picture of our city’s newest public art by the graffiti artists, Os Gemeos. I thought it was bright and colorful and was happy to see that we are starting to embrace street art in Boston. But I speak too soon- I was shocked to see the responses. There are currently 947 comments, and 623 more at Fox News– I won’t make you read through them all. They all fall into two categories:

The first half went something like this:  “Looks like a terrorists wife. It is a slap in the face to all those who lost someone on 9/11 & another slap in the face to our military who is over there risking there lives.”

The second half went something like this: “How does this represent Boston or the people that live and work here? I don’t like it. I don’t understand it.”

Firstly, in what sick world do we live in that anyone with a head covering is automatically a terrorist? Just because someone is muslim, doesn’t mean they are a terrorist. And just because someone drapes a shirt over their face CERTAINLY doesn’t mean they are Muslim. And while I know this wasn’t intended to be a Muslim- what would be so wrong if it was?

Secondly, where is the rule stated that everything in Boston must “fit in” with the rest of the city? I’m pretty sure the Prudential Center was revolutionary architecture at the time, and the Zakim Bridge certainly isn’t lined with cobblestone… We don’t live in the 17th century anymore, and not every sign in the city has to have a picture of Paul Revere and an American Flag on it. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean its bad- maybe it means you should expand your horizons and learn something new!

Additionally, I don’t care how great of a picture you get on your computer screen –  it’s pretty hard to judge art until you see it. Think about someone trying to appreciate the colors of a Rothko, or the glow of a John Singer Sargent painting without standing in front of it…. Luckily, this is down the street from us, so Nick and I took a stroll to the Greenway, with cameras in hand, ready to take in our new mural.

Crouched between the skyscrapers..

I don’t know about you, but I really like it! Love the colors, love the scale and the creative use of the building. I have to be honest that it is a lot more bold than the rest of the buttoned up greenway, and I’m surprised they got the approval- but I’m all for it. Its unlike anything I’ve seen before in Boston (or anywhere for that matter) and this is a good thing! The definition of what makes good art is continually evolving- to me it certainly includes a well thought out piece that inspires creative thought and discussion.

love the little faces hidden throughout!

Os Gemeos, “the twins” in Portuguese, are actually Otávio and Gustavo Pandolfo, two street artists with a growing presence in the urban art world. Their yellow characters are a recurring theme in their work, as are the hats, hoods and scarves they are often depicted in. In the past, Os Gemeos has been quoted as saying they paint what they dream. I would really like to step into one of these dreams- they seem so colorful and fantastic! The mural is privately funded and has been put up in correlation with an exhibit at the ICA featuring the art of the duo. (Time for a field trip!)  I think that public art installations are a fabulous way to exhibit the work of street artists- obviously the work they are most known around the world for cannot usually fit inside a museum, so to also leave their mark in more “traditional” ways throughout the city offers greater exposure and understanding to what makes the artists great.

The detail and shading is spectacular!

I don’t think any picture I take could make you truly appreciate the size of this mural. It is 70’x70′ and it was impossible for me to get a close up shot of the entire piece.  It is crazy picturing them on cranes painting, not even being able to step back and view each addition of color, and yet at the same time they were able to fill in each nook and cranny with detail.

me putting the size in perspective…

With all of the controversy surrounding the mural, the hatred seems to be fueled by a limited few who hide behind the shield of their computer screens: as issued in a public statement- the ICA has only received one formal complaint. GOOD. I hope it is here to stay and this doesn’t become a “one step forward, two steps back” moment for our city.

What do you think of it?


Author: beautiful Life and Style

Out to prove to the world that "Stylish Engineer" is not an oxymoron. Always expanding my knowledge of art, architecture, fashion and entertaining while creating a beautiful life and style.

3 thoughts on “Eye Opening Os Gemeos Mural in Boston

  1. Great commentary Erika. And shame on the narrow minded people in Boston!

    I can’t wait to get up there to see this in person

  2. Yes, great presentation of all that has transpired since the new art appeared. We (directed at all those who wish to comment) don’t have to agree but let’s remember to be kind and thoughtful when we respectfully disagree. I would love to hear the artist’s own interpretation and inpiration for this piece. VH

  3. …as street artists go, Banksy they (os gemeos) are not…well, IMHO…I just had an artistic-merit discussion with my SO about the mural and while I agree with her that “at first (quick) glance it appears that it is a picture of someone wearing an orange burka head covering” upon closer scrutiny, it clearly is not (note flopping sleeve)…to me the picture is a bit of whimsy, someone wearing an upside-down jacket over their head dressed in mismatched pajamas, a kid, perhaps?…okay…not much else there for me personally, choice of colors are a bit garish to my eyes, maybe this quarter of town needed some brightening up?…but then I don’t “get” giant plaza sculptures made out of twisted iron beams” either…maybe, as the author suggests, this looks better in person…I agree, web pics often don’t do their subject justice…but sometimes they do…if this, er, “graffiti” was commissioned by the City of Boston Arts Council, or some such, it probably explains why the piece is lacking in a more authentic, impromptu, uh, urban flair…peace… 🙂

    p.s. Banksy at work in Londontown…
    LSD (London Street-Art Design) Magazine: New Banksy Rat – London April 2011:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s