The Chicago Cloud Gate
ANISH KAPOOR’S MAGIC BEAN | Darrin Henry
“What do you know for sure?”
I remember Oprah Winfrey asking Michael Jackson that question; it has stuck in my head ever since.
Well today, this is what I know for sure. Ready?
Nothing fascinates people more than looking at images of themselves! Yes everyone gets used to the regular images of themselves; bathroom mirror, selfies etc. But provide a new way for people to view themselves and you’ll think it was a lost jungle tribe being handed their first mirror!
First Time In Chicago
It’s our first day out in Chicago and we’re in Millennium Park, awestruck at The Cloud Gate Sculpture, designed by British artist, Anish Kapoor. It’s more commonly referred to as, ‘The Bean’ because of its kidney bean shape. And yes, both Sharon and I are behaving like long lost jungle people.
We’re not even embarrassed because everyone else is doing the same thing! Like weirdos we are all grinning at ourselves, waving at our reflections, taking selfies; I even saw one woman reach out to touch it with both hands as though it had magical healing powers!
That’s what it’s like here at The Cloud Gate Sculpture. You can try to be cool about it but you will fail. Standing before this giant, bulbous mirror that wraps the entire Chicago skyline around you is hypnotic; you behave like a child.
Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
I guess variations of our own image have always fascinated us. Warped mirrors at fair grounds, trick software on computers, and of course the big shop windows which ‘certain’ people can’t walk by without sneaking a peek! The novelty never completely wears off.
Mirror panelled skyscrapers are kind of cool, but at the end of the day, it’s just the clouds or nearby buildings they reflect.
But the mirrored ‘Bean’ is a whole new kind of intriguing. Whether Anish Kapoor completely predicted the effect or not, it’s kind of genius. Standing up close to the Cloud Gate in absolutely any position and the reflected image is captivating.
We really should head off to see more of Chicago now. Ok, just another few minutes, let’s do one last walk round the Bean!
By the way, the Man in the Mirror’s answer to Oprah – “Oh, boy, I’m still learning. I mean, life is an education for me. I can’t say that I know anything for sure.”