on Cloud Gate.


Looking at Cloud Gate in pictures, I wasn't sure if it was really my style. It seemed kind of ostentatious - tacky, even - and reminded me of the senseless modernism I associate with Jeff Koons. But, I was completely enraptured by the real thing.

The object itself bares no signature, or even marks of construction (the entire steel covering is seamless). It just is. Because of this, it doesn't seem like a large outdoor expression of a single artist, but as a piece of truly public art.  The sculpture's appearance is constantly created by the people who are viewing it, as their images are mirrored back.

The piece itself is ceaselessly changing; on a grand scale - the surface changes color with the light of day - and on a small scale, with the events occurring around it. How many works of art are actually different every time you see them? This lends it an element of interest, not just to tourists who see it once in a lifetime, but to the residents who see it everyday.

Because the surface of the sculpture is reflective, it also achieves a timeless quality that evades many public installations, that quickly appear dated. It changes with the style of architecture surrounding it, the cars, and the way people dress. The piece is literally a reflection of the current time, so in some aspects it is always contemporary.

Cloud Gate is a reflection of the world around it. Any interest, outside the engineering of the enormous object, would be lost if it wasn't for it's surroundings. To me, it seems like a love letter to the city it's placed in. Constantly reflecting back the beauty of everyday life in Chicago.


(photos) 1 and 2 - on film with Pentax k1000.  3 - on instagram. username: SamShorey
(sculpture) Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor, located in Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, IL 

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10 comments:

  1. I love this!!! My favorite place in the city. And I love your take on it. Just wonderful.

    xo Alessia
    byalessia.com

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  2. Hi! I'm a long time reader, shy commentor, but I'm so glad you've been enchanted by this adopted city of mine! Come back soon!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for saying "hi!" KT! I hope to make a second trip to The Second City very soon.

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  3. I've never made up my mind about that sculpture. Is it sad that I never realized it was called Cloud Gate? We've always referred to it as the bean.

    I'd say I simply love and hate it. It's pretty fantastic looking when the city's covered in snow, though!

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    1. I've heard Parisians feel the same way about the Eiffel Tower!

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  4. I remember when the seams were still there. Not quite sure why they delayed polishing the seams. All the same, I love standing with your back to the inside and bending your head back-- you can actually see your back side (How cool is that).

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    Replies
    1. seeing the seams would have been so interesting - like seeing backstage at a play!

      And, one of my favorite things about being there was seeing people from all different sides. I love that about the top photo - everyone playing with their own reflections in the mirror.

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  5. You've brought such insight to this piece that had never occurred to me, Sam.

    And I know what you mean about Jeff Koons - he had a huge exhibit running at the Palace of Versailles in 2008 when I visited, and it interrupted the whole vibe of the place... not my cup of tea.

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  6. Love the last picture! My twin sister is in Chicago right now and she just texted me a picture of her in the same spot. How fun!

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  7. love your take on it. must chat about your trip soon. xoxo.

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