Wicked Good Guides / Bizarro Boston /

The Ho Chi Minh Memorial Gas Tank

I-93, Dorchester

Uncle Ho figures more prominently in the history of the Boston Gas Keyspan tank in Dorchester. The tank is covered in a giant rainbow design (the largest copyrighted piece of work in the country) by artist Corita Kent. As you drive by, look at the left side of the blue stripe. A face begins to emerge. It's Ho Chi Minh! Keyspan has always claimed it's a coincidence; some suspect Kent, an anti-war activist, included Ho in her 1971 opus as a subtle protest (Kent herself isn't talking; she's dead). Note: There used to be two tanks there. In 1992, Keyspan tore down the Kent tank and hired painters (including at least one Vietnamese refugee) to repaint the mural on the other one. One of the things they did was to give the profile a more rounded, less Ho-ish nose; the company claims this was truer to Kent's original design.

Did she or didn't she? - A more in-depth look at Kent and her art.



Post a comment