CHICAGO (CBS) — The British artist who created Cloud Gate, the Millennium Park sculpture known as “The Bean, was in Chicago to receive an award Tuesday and visited his famous sculpture for the first time since it was unveiled in 2006.
Sir Anish Kapoor stood underneath The Bean to take a selfie with Chicago Cultural Affairs Commissioner Mark Kelly, when some young people jumped into the picture with him.
Kapoor calls it “emotional” and “strange” to be returning. He recalled the hole in the ground that was in Grant Park as he was trying to conceive of the work that became “Cloud Gate.” He says he’s okay with its popular name, “The Bean,” because it gives his work “a language all its own.”
Kelly figures more than 200 million people have visited The Bean, including 10,000 brides and bridal parties, clicking 500 million selfies.
Selfies didn’t exist when Kapoor was creating his sculpture back in 1998, and he says he’s “astounded” so many selfies have been taken with it since it was unveiled.
“When the first conversations started about making Cloud Gate, the brief was ‘make something that’ll last 1,000 years.’ So… we’ll see,” Kapoor said.
Kapoor is in Chicago to receive the Grant Park Music Festival’s Advocate for the Arts award. Funds raised at the awards will support the festival’s free 10-week classical music series at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.