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''The Bean'' of Chicago

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

''Cloud Gate'' or ''The Bean'' by Anish Kapoor, meaning, information, inauguration.

cloud gate the bean chicago with buildings

Chicago was one of the last visits I made on my 35 days US road trip, so I remember feeling very tired. The show must go on! I was in a last sprint of my first life shoot, nothing went as planned or almost, to say that I couldn't wait to get back home to sleep properly (we slept most of the time in the car).

Arriving in Chicago, I felt refreshed by its exemplary urbanism, by Lake Michigan which offers us tranquility among one of the largest cities in the United States, but my favorite part was to discover one of its attractions. the most popular and free in Millennium Park: ''The Bean'', or its real name, ''Cloud Gate''. It is really worth the detour.

cloud gate the bean chicago mirrors with tourists under
Cloud Gate

10 meters high, tourists take pictures under this huge mirror made of 168 polished stainless steel plates with almost invisible welds. The effect is sometimes grandiose, sometimes loquacious! Things furthest away are reflected back to us almost normally, while when we are very close we don't even see ourselves. We appear in a distant reality. What did the artist want to demonstrate?

Anish Kapoor, a British Indian, seems interested in the limits of infinity and the limitless, the distortion of reality. The viewer is often led into a game of proportions and opposing dualities. But above all, he wanted to include both the city, nature and the inhabitants in his work.

chicago arcitecture in mirror the bean cloud gate
Chicago architecture reflected in artwork

The Chicagoans immediately took a liking to the big “bean”. The mayor of the city, during his inauguration, declared that day to be "the cloud gate day", and the work even has a song in his honor!

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