Who Is Behind a Gigantic Art Installation on the Former John Hancock Tower in Boston?

The artist remains unknown.

Figure on 200 Clarendon.
Photo: via Boston Globe/ Barry Chin.

A mysterious image appeared on the former John Hancock Tower in Boston on Wednesday that stopped passersby in their tracks.

“We have no idea what it is,” Meghan Hole, a woman who works across the building on Huntington Avenue, told the Boston Globe. “People have speculated that it’s Yogi Berra, and some said it looks like a naked guy?” she posited. “But we don’t know.”

Boston Properties owns the building, which is now called 200 Clarendon. A request for comment from the business was not immediately returned.

UPDATE: Boston Properties confirmed in a statement sent to artnet News via email the first temporary public art installation on the building is by French artist JR, who is also responsible for the 75-foot ballerina image in Tribeca, New York.

Upon closer inspection, it seems the figure is of a gentleman with his hands on his hips, sporting a pair of shorts or swim trunks, and gazing into the abyss.

We wish artist Robert Longo were behind this, because his “Men in the Cities” series would look perfect here. Or a lone David Hockney figure tending to the pool could be a welcome image, if we thought the artist were nimble enough to do a four-story wheatpaste job. But the gigantic black-and-white image appears to be more of a guerilla-style street art stunt either created by a corporation, or someone with Banksy‘s capabilities.

To get answers, bewildered onlookers took to Twitter.

“If the point of this image on the side of the Hancock Tower was viral buzz, mission accomplished,” Boston Globe reporter Tim Logan tweeted.

Perhaps the individual or company positioned the installation so high up since public art has been known to be vandalized if it is on the ground?

Related stories:

Baltimore Joins JR’s Inside Out Project with #BlackLivesMatter Street Art

Artists JR and Daniel Arsham Take On the Tribeca Film Festival


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