Cloud Gate

cloud gate, by Anish Kapoor (image by David Robinson, 1/29/20)

Cloud Gate is the official name of the enormous, silver sculpture located in Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois. Nicknamed “The Bean” because of its bean-like shape, Cloud Gate was created by Indian-born artist Anish Kapoor, constructed between 2004 and 2006. The sculpture is made of 168 stainless-steel, highly polished metal plates with no visible seams. Cloud Gate is 42 feet high, 66 feet long, and weighs 100 tons. Art critics consider Cloud Gate as a passage between realms of land and sky. I like to think that Kapoor was inspired by The Cloud of Unknowing which also features a passage between two realms of clouds, the cloud of forgetting and the cloud of unknowing. The lower portion offers viewers distorted reflections of the skyline of downtown Chicago. The upper portion of Cloud Gate reflects the sky offering viewers a portal between earth and heaven. Viewers are able to walk through a 12 foot archway or gate underneath the sculpture as I did on January 29, 2020 at night. Cloud Gate was completed in summer of 2006, costing $23 million. It stands today as one of the most popular tourist sites in the Windy City.