Some Kind of Art Installation Is Unfolding on a Boston Skyscraper

The John Hancock Tower—sorry, 200 Clarendon—is now sporting an evolving photorealistic mural by French artist JR on its west facade.


Photo by Sarah Fisher

Update, September 24, 11:40 a.m.

Bryan Koop, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager at Boston Properties, which owns 200 Clarendon, announced on Twitter that the evolving image on the building’s facade is a work by a French artist known as JR.

The artist is known for installing massive photorealistic murals on urban surfaces around the world. In April, he created an illustration for the cover of New York Times Magazine‘s “Walking New York” issue.

In August, he collaborated with Brazilian brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo—known collectively as Os Gemeos—on an image that resembles their playful mural on Stuart Street in Boston. Os Gemeos is also behind the very first Dewey Square mural on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.  

Once completed, JR’s work at 200 Clarendon will be 150 feet wide and 86 feet tall, covering space between the 44th and 50th floor of the building, according to the Boston Globe.  

Previously: Earlier this afternoon, curious Boston citizens took to Twitter to share photographs of what appears to be a black-and-white image of a man emblazoned on the west facade of the building formerly known as the John Hancock Tower.

A spokesperson for Boston Properties, the real estate investment trust that owns the skyscraper—renamed 200 Clarendon a few months ago—confirmed to WBZ-TV that it’s an art installation, but did not share any details. The station also took a closer look at the image from its helicopter:

While it may be the first art installation to take place on the skyscraper, it’s not the first to use the building as a venue. A few months ago, the lobby received a colorful facelift with murals by an artist known as MOMO. It’s the first of three temporary installations planned for the ground floor by independent curator Pedro Alonzo.

It’s not immediately clear whether or not the facade installation was also planned by Alonzo.