fb-pixel

Boston artist installs surgical masks on oversized baby head statue outside MFA

Boston artist Peter Agoos and his nephew installed a surgical mask made from cling wrap on the "Day" statue outside the Museum of Fine Arts on Sunday.
Boston artist Peter Agoos and his nephew installed a surgical mask made from cling wrap on the "Day" statue outside the Museum of Fine Arts on Sunday.Peter Agoos

While strolling around the city last week as part of his pandemic-induced exercise, Boston artist Peter Agoos got an idea as he passed the Museum of Fine Arts.

“Maybe I should put some surgical masks on a couple of those rocks, as a kind of temporary response to the times,” he thought.

On Sunday, Agoos and his nephew, Gabriel Fancher, did just that.

“Those rocks” were the “Day” and “Night” statues by Antonio Lopez installed in 2008 that sit outside the Fenway entrance of the museum, depicting monumental baby heads sculpted from bronze. Using leftover cling wrap from past projects, Agoos and Fancher spent an hour laying out the material, shaping it into a massive turquoise surgical mask, and placing it on the “Day” head — which he called a “topical guerrilla art installation.”

Advertisement



“It was playful in instinct, as a lot of my installations have been, with a serious point underlying it,” he said. “The idea of the large scale versus putting little masks on statues around town was more appealing to me.”

Passersby took immediate notice.

As Agoos and Fancher placed the mask on the baby head, one man stopped to discuss the project with them as he watched intently.

“We could see that it was already delighting him,” Agoos said. “By the time we got back to the car after finishing wrapping it up, people were crossing the Fenway . . . and taking pictures.”

But that was short-lived.

On Tuesday, Agoos drove by the statue to see if repair work was needed after the rain, only to see the “Day” head bare. His work had been removed.

Despite only having two days to show the city his work, Agoos isn’t ruling out future coronavirus-related projects around the city. After all, he said, there’s plenty of time to create while holed up at home.

Advertisement



“It’s certainly a time to let the mind ramble freely,” he said.

Matt Berg can be reached at matthew.berg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.