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