San Diego, CA
Cloud Gate Millenium Park Chicago
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© Christine Till
"Chicago, the wonder city, has a new wonder." -Chicago Tribune, 18 July, 2004
Cloud Gate - referred to by locals as "The Bean", for obvious reasons - was the first public sculpture of Indian-born and London-based artist Anish Kapoor. He designed a stainless steel construction consisting of 168 stainless steel plates, each 1 cm (0.4 inch) thick and seamlessly welded together. Cloud Gate's seamless surface is the result of thousands of hours of polishing. The structure weighs 100 tons and measures 10 meters high and 20 meters wide (33 x 66 ft). People can walk through the 3.7 meter high central arch, where they can look up to the large 'dent' and see numerous distorted reflections of themselves.
When 'The cloud" was completely finished in May, 2006 its almost magical appeal became visible. Seamless and polished, it reflects and distorts the skyline of Michigan Avenue, the sky, and the people nearby, who always seem to have the urge to touch the sculpture's silvery surface.
What was once a gritty, blighted site in Chicago is now home to a glistening, cultural spectacle that delivers joy to its visitors. Cloud Gate instantly became an icon of Chicago, and an attraction that every visitor to the city wants to see.
October 28th, 2012
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