Chicago's shiny bean, Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate"

Anish Kapoor Cloud Gate 2004-2006 polished stainless steel 33' x 66' x 42' [detail of installation]

I think I expected to be charmed by Anish Kapoor's sculpture in Millenium Park, but when Barry and I encountered "Cloud Gate" on the first full day of our visit to the city two weeks ago I thought it was even better than the reviews had reported - and even more fun than its billings.

But it's also an incredible photo opportunity, and this was one of those rare times I totally went with it. The underside of what Chicagoans had early on dubbed "the Bean" is described as an omphalos, or navel, a complex, curving indentation whose mirrored surface multiplies anything found beneath it, but in the other images I snapped the same afternoon I concentrated entirely on the first of the foreshortened Barrys I spotted above me.





I love Anish, but for Chicago public sculpture, Abakanowicz's Agora in Grant Park gets my vote. Two very different experiences, both great. I wish Minneapolis (my home) were half the art town Chicago is.