Artist Replaces Advertisements At T Stops with ‘Words and Thoughts’

It's part of a project that uses public space as an outdoor art studio.

Move over, “Not Art” guy, there’s a new urban visionary leaving his mark on public property throughout the city.

People walking through parts of Allston and Downtown Boston may have noticed some new additions to water towers, construction cranes, and city-owned bus shelters where MBTA vehicles stop. That’s because a mystery artist has been flying homemade banners high above the streets and replacing advertisements at bus stops with large posters bearing vague statements as part of a project he calls “Tomorrow Perhaps.”

Why? Allow him to explain:

‘Tomorrow Perhaps’ is the documentation of using public space as a way to display words and thoughts about existence that would somewhat be kept in a journal and private, but by sharing them in a public manner it adds this narrative of sorts to the space in which they are placed.

The artist has hit a number of spots in the last few weeks, including a crane that sits in Lower Allston at the site of Harvard University’s latest redevelopment project. The banner read: “Cease to exist in anything that seems to be forever.”

Other prominent spots where the artist has hung “words and thoughts” have been on a Dunkin’ Donuts billboard on Franklin Street, where scaffolding surrounds the building below, and behind the glass casings of bus shelters on Charlesview Street and Arthur Street in Allston. Officials from the transit agency were unaware of the posters, because the city owns these particular shelters. Requests for comment from Mayor Marty Walsh’s office about the artist swapping out the ads were not immediately returned.

He somehow even managed to get onto a water tower on the outskirts of the city to scrawl the words “In the woods wishing I was” in bright red letters, which sit in stark contrast to the Boston skyline and the John Hancock tower behind it.

But don’t worry, the graffiti isn’t permanent.

“The words will slowly fade and decay from their surroundings, much like the ideas and feelings they represent. Some will go unseen and some will not be understood, but they will still live on there and exist in the moment that they are given,” the artist wrote on his blog.

While he didn’t want to immediately speak about his outdoor artwork, it has been documented in photos and in videos (below).

Besides the bus shelters, the artist has been hitting the sides of mailboxes with chalk, and some back-alley walls with spray paint and stencils. He even managed to slip some writing into an ad slot on a Green Line train.