Cloud Gate. Chicago. USA
This incredible sculpture was first presented at the opening of Millennium Park in Chicago in 2004. This is the first public sculpture and one of the most famous works of the Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor. It is called the «Cloud Gate». In fact, the sculpture is a gateway to the city, so the name is very suitable. Although, because of its shape it is also known as “The Bean”.
The frame of this unusual creation is covered with 168 sheets of stainless steel, which are welded together and polished carefully. The famous bean weighs 99.8 tons; its height is 10 meters, length – 20 and 13 meters in width. The creation of this masterpiece of art cost $ 23 million! Although it was assumed that it would take about $ 6 million. The opening of the Cloud Gate became one of the highlights in the history of the park.
The shape resembles a huge drop, frozen in the air. Anish Kapoor says he was inspired by a drop of mercury for creation of such a monument. People can pass under the central arch of 3.7 meters.
This work was the winner in 1999 at an exhibition of sculpture exhibits for a new, modern Millennium Park. The artist began working on the construction of the sculpture in 2004, but the official date of its opening is considered to be May 15, 2006. The author was far behind of the schedule, and when at the opening of the park he had to show the unfinished sculpture, it was strongly criticized.
But when it converted its surface into magically attractive mirror, the bean has become a popular destination for tourists and locals. It has become a meeting place, there is always a crowd of onlookers who constantly take pictures of the sculpture or do selfies on the background of the reflected skyscrapers. Today, the Cloud Gate is the hallmark of Chicago. It is even called “The eighth wonder of the world”.
“Stainless Bean” was created only for entertainment and recreation, without any semantic loading. So people like it just for its existence, beauty, uniqueness and originality.
Anish Kapoor was born in 1954 in Bombay, but since 1972 he lives and works in the UK. He is the winner of the Turner Prize, and a member of the “New British Sculpture”. In 2003 the author was awarded the Order of the British Empire. Kapoor’s works are in many museums around the world.