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Curator explains why giant clown heads went up in downtown Boston

Answers behind Downtown Boston's immersive art installation
Answers behind Downtown Boston's immersive art installation 04:24

BOSTON - An unusual art installation has stopped Bostonians in their tracks. So what exactly are those giant clown heads doing in downtown Boston?

The artistic curator, Vincent Roy, and Downtown Boston Business Improvement District president Michael Nichols joined the Morning Mix on WBZ-TV Friday to give some answers. 

"We like to create surprise," Roy said. 

Roy has been putting on public art shows in Quebec City for 17 years and says he enjoys contrasting a city's historical architecture with contemporary art. The clowns off Washington Street, which are the work of artist Max Streicher, appeared in Quebec a few years ago but they've made the "strongest impact" in Boston, Roy said.

"WINTERACTIVE" attracting visitors to downtown Boston

The "WINTERACTIVE" art experience is more than just the clowns - there are 16 total installations as part of a walkable tour. Roy said the Downtown Boston BID was invited to see the art shows in Canada, and chose something "audacious" to bring back.

Head-turning displays serve a purpose, according to Nichols.

"It changes your day. You could be walking to work with your head down and it's the same walk every morning," he said. "To bring something new and different changes people's day, gets them thinking. And I think it gets them to experience their city in a different way."

Nichols said the free activity is a great way to get people to visit downtown, an area that has struggled to regain popularity since the pandemic. 

"We haven't given Bostonians enough to do in the cold weather months in the public realm," he said. "Why not give people a reason to explore their city in the winter?"

WINTERACTIVE will be on display downtown through April 14.

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