Usually, looking up while walking through Boston is the way to go.
But if over the next few days and weeks you find yourself staring at the ground, be sure to keep an eye out for a handful of delightful mouse-sized shop windows that have popped up around town.
Miniature shops recently appeared in the Boston area thanks to a collective of street artists known as AnonyMouse.
“We started in 2016 in southern Sweden, a couple of us met and started discussing about creating something together and the dialogue moved towards our childhood love for the works of Walt Disney, Don Bluth, Beatrix. Potter and Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, “the collective told Boston.com in an email. “After a while we focused on these little shops, as it was something we ourselves would have liked to stumble upon as children.”
The group has installed more than 40 stores around the world (mainly in Sweden, France and the Isle of Man). But now there are 10 to 15 in the Boston area, “depending on how you count”.
As the name suggests, the collective remains anonymous in an attempt to preserve an element of magic that surrounds the tiny establishments.
“We like the idea that the installations speak for themselves, and we are also very fond of the fact that children can truly believe it was made by mice rather than humans,” the collective wrote. “Also, we like the name a little bit, and if we went public we would have to change it.”
When they started, each store took about six months from start to finish, they said. But the group has since sped up the process to only take about a month. The actual installation now takes only a few minutes, although AnonyMouse said they tend to install parts overnight to go undetected.
A close look at the installations, if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon one in real life or just on Instagram, reveals that the displays use everyday human materials.
“We are always looking for human objects that we can use for things other than those of a human being: a matchbox becomes a table, a cork a chair, a bottle cap becomes a fireplace or a bottle becomes a truck. firefighters. So we never stop “working”, “they said.
By creating the display cases over the years, the artists have improved on making them as durable as possible in order to withstand the elements and the children who come to play with them.
The collective creates everything from mouse-themed arcades to record shops to barbershops. And the shops aren’t empty; the artists also create the interior of the shops.
AnonyMouse has so far revealed two Boston installations on Instagram – a bookstore and a firehouse – but there are still a handful, according to the group.
“Good morning America. So, we crossed the pond and where else but in the promised land of Massachusetts,” wrote the collective on Instagram. “Where exactly? Well, it’s up to us to know and you to find out! Let the games begin!”
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