Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicago: Gateway to the clouds.

I recently went to Chicago for business and spent the better part of two days locked inside darkened rooms.  I was there for client off-site meetings and focus groups.  But I'd never been to Chicago and I wasn't about to leave without seeing a few sites.  So I took thirty minutes between meetings and dinner with clients to wander Millenium Park.

I'm a big Anish Kapoor fan so I would have been a total loser if I didn't make it to Cloud Gate during my first visit to Chicago.  You might think that the best time to experience Chicago is on a bright, blue-skied spring day.  I might beg to differ.  Because experiencing Cloud Gate on a gray, misty day when the city itself literally disappears into the clouds is otherworldly.  I had high expectations for this sculpture.  And the shiny blob exceeded those expectations at every turn.  The whole thing forces questions about reality and perceptions of who we are.  I was particularly surprised by the feelings conjured while standing inside the Cloud Gate. Maybe I should just let the pictures do the talking.

Here are two self portraits with Cloud Gate one from the inside and one from the outside.

But Cloud Gate isn't the only showstopper in Millenium Park, and I'm not talking about the spectacular Frank Gehry architecture either.  There's also The Crown Fountain by Spanish artist Jeume Plensa.  This work consists of two, 50-foot glass block towers inside which are giant LED screens projecting slowly moving faces filmed with a cross section of 1,000 Chicagoans.  During warmer months, a stream of water flows from each of the screens creating the illusion that waters is coming out of the mouths of the faces on screen, a reference to the tradition of Gargoyles.  Kids and families love to play in the fountain on hot, sunny days.  But on a cold, gray day when the water is turned off for repairs, the giant projections are more sinister.  In fact, a girl who couldn't have been older than three turned, unexpectedly encountered one of the huge glowing faces, and ran off screaming.


  1. Darling, you need to come back... SOON!!!!! Especially since Mz_MaRi will be free of the cornfields as of mid-May and back in ChiTwn w FULL FORCE!!! Dare I suggest IML for Memorial Day weekend?!?! *besos*

  2. That bean is amusing to no end. Glad you got to explore a little bit.