Art@Site Anish Kapoor Cloud Gate, The Bean

Anish Kapoor


Cloud Gate, The Bean

Millennium Park, AT&T Plaza
Cloud Gate is a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, that is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture and AT&T Plaza are located on top of Park Grill, between the Chase Promenade and McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink. Constructed between 2004 and 2006, the sculpture is nicknamed The Bean because of its shape. Made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, its highly polished exterior has no visible seams. It measures 33 by 66 by 42 feet (10 by 20 by 13 m), and weighs 110 short tons (100 t; 98 long tons).
Kapoor's design was inspired by liquid mercury and the sculpture's surface reflects and distorts the city's skyline. Visitors are able to walk around and under Cloud Gate's 12-foot (3.7 m) high arch. On the underside is the"omphalos" (Greek for"navel"), a concave chamber that warps and multiplies reflections. The sculpture builds upon many of Kapoor's artistic themes, and it is popular with tourists as a photo-taking opportunity for its unique reflective properties.
The sculpture was the result of a design competition. After Kapoor's design was chosen, numerous technological concerns regarding the design's construction and assembly arose, in addition to concerns regarding the sculpture's upkeep and maintenance. Various experts were consulted, some of whom believed the design could not be implemented. Eventually, a feasible method was found, but the sculpture's construction fell behind schedule. It was unveiled in an incomplete form during the Millennium Park grand opening celebration in 2004, before being concealed again while it was completed. Cloud Gate was formally dedicated on May 15, 2006, and has since gained considerable popularity, both domestically and internationally.
"Cloud Gate" or"the bean" as natives have come to call it was created by artist Anish Kapoor for Chicago's Millennium Park. Made from seamless plates of polished stainless steel, it truly invokes its inspiration: liquid mercury.
This work of art takes on a life of its own as it reflects everything including the sky, buildings, and anyone who happens to be standing near it. It can look completely different depending on the time of day or the weather. Definitely a site to behold.
Taking advantage of his exclusive rights to make artistic use of the high-tech, light-absorbing material Vantablack, the British artist Anish Kapoor has covered the entire surface of his Chicago public sculpture 'Cloud Gate' (2006) with it. The result, a looming black orb that neutralizes 99.965% of the radiation that hits it, is a far cry from the mirrored selfie beacon that Chicagoans and tourists have come to love.
'The public has had a decade to interact with the reflective surface of ‘Cloud Gate,’ and I felt it was time for a change,' Kapoor told Hyperallergic. 'Whereas the sculpture was originally about play and surface appearance, I think the Vantablack version is more about introspection, about becoming disoriented, lost, and enveloped in an overwhelming void of nothingness.'