Is This Art? Chicago's Iconic Cloud Gate aka 'The Bean'


Anish Kapoor's 'Cloud Gate', choosechicago.com
'Cloud Gate' - Anish Kapoor

Cloud Gate, dubbed ‘the bean’ by locals (a nickname the artist absolutely hates), is a sculpture by Anish Kapoor in Chicago, Illinois, and it is quite the spectacle; ‘it’ being a giant stainless-steel bean in the middle of Millenium park. The sculpture measures 33 feet high and 66 feet wide. It’s actually been featured in several movies, including Transformers: Age of Extinction. It attracts something like 12 million people a year, and some of those people are wedding guests, because sometimes some other people decide get married at The Bean. (We didn't include any pictures of these iconic weddings because they are the private property of the bride, groom, and their photographer, but a quick google search for 'cloud gate wedding' will be just as illuminating.)


So, what’s the hype? Why is a giant shiny kidney bean in the middle of a park considered art? It’s hardly the first ‘giant sculpture’; in fact, America alone has a reputation for hosting a wide variety of giant sculptures; world’s largest ball of twine, largest rocking chair, largest wind chime; all of which are relegated to ‘tourist attraction’ status. And that doesn’t even get into the sculptures in other countries; France had the world's largest light-bulb display in 2015. So why is The Bean so different?


Anish Kapoor's 'Cloud Gate' in winter, The Point Magazine
Anish Kapoor - 'Cloud Gate' in Winter