Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
Taking advantage of his exclusive rights to make artistic use of the high-tech, light-absorbing material Vantablack, the British artist Anish Kapoor has covered the entire surface of his Chicago public sculpture “Cloud Gate” (2006) with it. The result, a looming black orb that neutralizes 99.965% of the radiation that hits it, is a far cry from the mirrored selfie beacon that Chicagoans and tourists have come to love.
“The public has had a decade to interact with the reflective surface of ‘Cloud Gate,’ and I felt it was time for a change,” Kapoor told Hyperallergic. “Whereas the sculpture was originally about play and surface appearance, I think the Vantablack version is more about introspection, about becoming disoriented, lost, and enveloped in an overwhelming void of nothingness.”
In spite of the artist’s existential ideas about the revamped sculpture, the change of tone doesn’t seem to have deterred the droves of selfie-snappers. Since the artwork’s re-unveiling on Monday, tourists have been posting photos of themselves standing in front of or playfully cowering beneath the towering blob of blackness. Meanwhile, locals have taken to calling it “The Black Bean,” a twist on its prior nickname, “The Bean.”
“I didn’t believe my friends when they first told me that he’d covered the Bean in that ultra-black paint of his,” said Leigh Millicent, a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, who visited the sculpture earlier this week. “But he did, and it’s really, really black. Black as midnight on a moonless night.”
Kapoor said that he was pleased with his first public experiment with Vantablack and plans to spend the next year applying it to all of his large-scale outdoor works, beginning with his London tower, the fire-engine red “ArcelorMittal Orbit” (2012). “Since I started taking on these large public projects, the world has become a much darker place,” he said. “I want my work to reflect that.”
The University of Virginia researchers wrote that the data “provides compelling evidence that these symbols are associated with hate.”
We are waiting for spectacle and when the quotidian, yet incongruous actions occur I wonder whether there is any real payoff coming.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
Tanega’s approach to mark-making comes across as stream of consciousness, as if she’s engaged in a conversation with herself.
Starting Monday, readers can borrow one of 50 rare and out-of-print titles, mailed to them completely free of charge, from Saint Heron Library.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
This is Yuskavage’s great gift, turning upside down our settled ways of thinking and seeing and, with ease, transforming the vulgar and ridiculous into the sublime.
51 international publishers and galleries showcase their latest editions in prints and artists’ books at this free public fair, which is fully online this year.
While hardly about the pandemic, or any of the other crises so afflicting us, all are invoked in this exhibition, which is also often tender and profoundly soulful.
These glowing, dynamic artworks reproduce something of Bosch’s chaotic energy, but on an immersive, multi-sensory scale.
This week, addressing a transphobic comedy special on Netflix, the story behind KKK hoods, cultural identity fraud, an anti-Semitic take on modern art, and more.