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OS Gemeos And "The Giant Of Boston"

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The twins have left Boston, but not before they opened their first solo museum show in the U.S. and left behind a handful of public installations that have garnered major attention as people once again grapple with the concept of art in the streets. Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo have done large installations in large cities before, but few as visible and central to a city as their 70 x 70 foot mural on the side of a "Big Dig" ventilation building rising above the greenway with the shape of the character's head formed by the semi-circular façade.

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Os Gemeos "The Giant of Boston" at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Photographer and BSA contributor Geoff Hargadon says that the project received permission from a number of civic and private organizations before it could go up over ten days in July in this storied city that usually favors conservative historical themes in it's public works. "Given the short amount of time organizers had to put the pieces together and get all the approvals," says Hargadon while ticking off names of entities who green-lighted the project, "it was a small miracle it was able to get off the ground."

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Os Gemeos "The Giant of Boston" at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

The internationally known Brazillian Street Artists had time to create a few pieces around town that reference their more graffiti-influenced roots, including one each on the side of a hotel, a pizza place, and a van. Not surprisingly it was the seven storey portrait of a seated barefoot boy rendered in signature Os Gemeos yellow and wearing shrouded headgear that got the most attention on the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square. Its bright colors and patterned pajama-like garb have a cheerful childlike appeal to some picnickers, while other townies and Internet commenters see something less attractive, even sinister, depicted here where much of the Occupy Boston protests took place in the last year.

By the time "The Giant of Boston" had been discovered by equally yellow media types, the barefoot boy had been transformed into a danger in this birthplace of democracy and a small media-generated dust bowl was kicked up. "Looks like one of the Simpsons dressed like a terrorist," said a clever commenter on a local TV affiliate's Facebook page, one of over 200 who offered their considered opinions on the mural's appearance.

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Os Gemeos never miss an opportunity to collaborate on a van or truck when in the USA. This side of the van was with Graffiti Artist Lead. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

As with most knee-jerk assessments, this one could be tempered with a few minutes of Googling the work of the artists, which would reveal that this figure fits quite neatly into the dreamscape tableaux of oddly costumed and funnily proportioned figures whom the Twins have been painting for a few decades. But who knows, each of those little kooky figures could have been bombers and no one realized it until now. Without adding credibility to that line of unthinking, Hargadon remarks about these aerosol bomber brothers, "Maybe Os Gêmeos have inadvertently done us all a favor by helping us understand how some people have come to see the world during the past ten years. In any case, like all noteworthy art, it is not meant to please everybody." If that's the case, "The Giant of Boston" is noteworthy.

Of more important note is the solo show by Os Gêmeos that has opened concurrently at The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. Organized by Pedro Alonzo, who also curated the Swoon, Shepard Fairey, and Dr. Lakra shows for the ICA, it's a somewhat intimate overview of their professional and personal journey as artists, peppered with a few surprises from inside the imagination of these in-the-moment creators who "depict their visions in surreal paintings, sculpture, and installations," according to the shows official description. Reporting on the makeup of the pieces exhibited, Hargadon says, "Some of them are from the recent show at Prism LA, while others are older works. The VIP opening on Tuesday was packed, and was followed by a Brazilian themed party Friday night - which was sold out."

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Os Gemeos "The Giant of Boston" at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. Os Gemeos "The Giant of Boston" at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. This side of the van was with Graffiti Artist Rize. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

If you get to Boston to see this show and this large mural, make time in your trip to see the brothers other works in less obvious locations to get a greater appreciation for their history growing up as teens in the mid 80s while pouring over books like "Subway Art" and seeing the hip-hop and graffiti scene from New York spreading around the globe. You'll find a mural at the Revere Hotel on Stuart Street and a piece they did along with a handful of friends in Union Square in Somerville at Mama Gina's Pizza. Among the other contributors to that piece were RIZE, Coyo, and Caleb Neelon.

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Os Gemeos "The Giant of Boston" at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Os Gemeos "The Giant of Boston" at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. One of The Twins signing a memento for a fan. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Os Gemeos "The Giant of Boston" at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, Boston. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Os Gemeos at the Revere Hotel on Stuart Street, Boston. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Os Gemeos with Rize, Coyo and Caleb Neelon at Mama Gina's Pizza in Union Square, Somerville. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Os Gemeos with Rize, Coyo and Caleb Neelon at Mama Gina's Pizza in Union Square, Somerville. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Os Gemeos Installation at Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Os Gemeos Installation at Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Os Gemeos Installation at Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art. Detail. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Os Gemeos. General view of the Exhibition at Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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The exhibit at the ICA will be up through Thanksgiving, 2012. Click here for further information regarding this exhibition.

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"The Giant of Boston" mural at the Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square will be up for 18 months.

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Our special thanks to BSA contributor and photographer Geoff Hargadon for capturing these amazing images of the walls going up and for the coverage of the installations inside the museum.

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This article was also posted on Brooklyn Street Art.

See our earlier posting "Futura & Os Gemeos : Two Generations of Street Artists Hit NYC"

Read all posts by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo on The Huffington Post HERE.

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