July 17, 2010

Cloud Gate

The law of reflection, combined with a simple geometry, can lead to visual wonders of surprising intricacy and complexity. Cloud Gate, a sculpture by Anish Kapoor, is a particularly striking example of such a spectacle.

The large structure—66 feet long, 42 feet wide, 33 feet high—seems barely tethered to the ground of AT&T Plaza in Chicago's Millennium Park. It has no color of its own; it vaguely resembles a giant jelly bean.

Inspired by globules of liquid mercury, the sculpture was crafted from sheets of stainless steel, seamlessly pieced together into an elliptical form to offer an enthralling lesson in optics. Its highly polished, gracefully curved surface mirrors the surrounding cityscape of tall buildings and the clouds above.

The inwardly curved underside—a 12-foot-high arch gateway—creates a hollow that invites exploration and offers additional visual surprises. Captured in startling, perplexing reflections, the viewer becomes part of the artwork—a part of the visual experience.

Photos by I. Peterson

1 comment:

Solo said...

The photos look good. Thanks for an interesting post.