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.”
Memories So Fair and Bright
Kimetha Vanderveen’s paintings are about the interaction of materiality and light, the bond between the palpable and ephemeral world in which we live.
Artists Contemplate Sovereignty in Santa Fe
The Santa Fe Art Institute’s 2024 International Thematic Residency focuses on what sovereignty means for artists from across the world.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
How Did Early Modern European Craftspeople Pass On Their Knowledge?
A new book about object making critically examines a written history of working with materials.
Dual Portrait of Old Master Rachel Ruysch Holds a Trove of Secrets
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has just acquired the rare painting, which depicts the Dutch artist at work surrounded by her signature flora.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Did Van Gogh’s Disdain for the Eiffel Tower Inspire “Starry Night”?
Art historian James Hall argues that van Gogh replaced the Eiffel Tower with a towering cypress tree and its inaugural light shows with the night sky.
Greek Museum Welcomes Dogs For World Stray Animal Day
Furry friends and their pawrents can visit Athens’s National Museum of Contemporary Art for free this weekend.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Ai Weiwei Recreates Monet’s “Water Lilies” Using 650,000 LEGOS
It’s the artist’s largest LEGO artwork to date.
Did a Simpsons Episode Predict the Florida “David” Outrage?
The episode, which aired 30 years ago, made a dark prediction about conservative politics in 2023.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Coasting the Topography of South Asian Futurisms
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Sadaf Padder presents an exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
I’m a Florida Drag Queen and I’m Scared
I’m truly at a loss for what to do for work and what kind of life I can expect to live.
I like a lot of his work, but I still think it is a tragic waste that he is the only artist who will get to use this material. Many could put it to much better use, frankly.
Don’t worry. It’s an artistic statement. You could as an artist “steal” vantablack and use it yourself as a means of creating a conversation about the exclusivity of the color or something in that direction.
Hahaha nice one! I almost believed this!
Kapoor burned his knockwurst?
This is April Fools day right
You set this one up on leap year, well played sir!
Hmmmm, this is definitely Zeitgeist.
Photoshop the reflection out of her sunglasses
Dude, this is MS Paint level editing… you’re asking way too much lol
The reflection of what? She isn’t facing the bean. The bean isn’t in her glasses reflection.
this link is given just below the cited image in above article 😛
She is standing in front of the bean with her camera facing her with the bean behind her. The reflection in her glasses is the city scape facing away from the bean. the bean is not in the glasses reflection.
He’s insinuating you know it’s fake because the regular, unphotoshopped bean is in the sunglasses. This isn’t true.
So the girl is taking a selfie in front of a totally black back drop? You almost have to as why.
“It’s like….how much more black could it be? And the answer is: none. None more black”.
Horrible photoshop job
Just a cop out use of a revolutionary new pigment that Kapoor has the exclusive rights to use.
Frederik De Wilde conceptualised the blackest black way back in 2008, developed the first gallery presentable artworks from 2010 onwards. Check out his Facebook artist page or website. https://www.facebook.com/G0ld1locks/
FYI , It opened in 2004
the article is the april fool’s joke, the artist didn’t do this
ETA: that edge on blonde’s hair tho, yeowch
Hope he used all of it. Enough already.
Not as good as the time Christo wrapped a cloud.
That selfie photo above is a fake. Not that it really matters, but it is.
Absolutely incredible! Kapoor’s experimentation with Vantablack seems a natural extension of the artist’s constant manipulation of optical and aural phenomena.
I want to cover myself in vantablack. Like, forever. Wonder how much Kapoor charges?
Comments are closed.