Plans For New Dewey Square Mural

This article is more than 8 years old.
Brazilian graffiti stars Os Gêmeos painted the much-discussed mural along the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square last July. (Greg Cook)
Brazilian graffiti stars Os Gêmeos painted the much-discussed mural along the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square last July. (Greg Cook)

Plans are under discussion for a major new public mural along Boston’s Rose F. Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square where Brazilian graffiti stars Os Gêmeos painted a much-discussed cartoon of a giant masked fellow in psychedelic clothes last July.

The Os Gêmeos “mural was planned to be temporary,” says Karin Goodfellow, director of the city of Boston’s Art Commission. “It’s actually fading.”

The Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, the nonprofit that manages the state-owned 1.5-mile stretch of parks running above the Route 93 tunnel, and Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, which organized the Os Gêmeos project, are talking about commissioning another mural for that seven-story Massachusetts Department of Transportation ventilation building at Summer and Congress streets.

The emerging plan seems for these to be the beginning projects in a series of temporary murals there—not necessarily always developed in partnership with the ICA.

“The idea is for it to rotate, for the whole Greenway to be a place to have more temporary art,” Goodfellow says. “It’s exciting that right now we have a space that’s dedicated to temporary public art.”

But “the Greenway hasn’t submitted plans for another mural to” the Boston Arts Commission, Goodfellow says, or to the state transportation department yet, a spokesman there says.

“We are in preliminary conversations about one new mural,” an ICA spokeswoman reports. “Nothing is confirmed at this point.” Greenway officials did not return calls Thursday and Friday.

A challenge will be following up the big success of the ICA and Greenway’s first Dewey Square effort, a rare example of great contemporary public art in Boston. The colorful mural by identical twins Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo, known as Os Gêmeos (Portuguese for "the twins"), has wowed and delighted many, but the masked figure also prompted criticism on Fox Boston’s Facebook page shortly after it was completed last summer that it resembled “the wife of a terrorist” or a “gay ninja.”

“Whether you love it or hate it,” says Christopher Cook, director of the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events, “it got people talking about art in the city.”

This article was originally published on June 15, 2013.

This program aired on June 15, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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Greg Cook was an arts reporter and critic for WBUR's The ARTery.