Chicago is a beautiful city: you’ve read that here before. Just one of the elements that makes it so is the seemingly countless collection of art that is scattered all over the city (in addition to permanent installations, we often have traveling exhibits too!). You won’t be surprised to know that I have a few favorite sculptures. These three all “represent” Chicago in different ways, to me anyway.
First? “Magdaline” by Dessa Kirk.
To me, “Magdaline” says “Welcome to Chicago!”
She is located at Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway, the latter being the road which stems from I-290 (the Eisenhower Expressway), which comes into the city from the west. When I drive in, I always smile at Magdaline’s outstretched arms: what a great hostess! I am completely fascinated (Dare I say “in love”? Yes.) with her. Later in the summer, her skirt fills up with blooming vines, and she is even more breathtaking.
The weather didn’t allow for great pictures of her from the front on the day I was all up close and personal, but check out the view from behind.
Next? “Cloud Gate” (we locals call it “The Bean”), by Anish Kapoor.
To me, The Bean says “Have fun in Chicago!”
The Bean is located front and center at Millennium Park. It is made of polished stainless steel plates that reflect the skyline behind it and the clouds above it. Tourists and locals alike gather at the Bean, making faces, posing for pictures, and marveling at the unique view, both on the outside of it AND underneath it! I love The Bean so much that it’s also on, ahem, the cover of my book:
Finally? The Picasso, of course.
To me, the Picasso says “I AM Chicago.”
The sculpture, located at Daley Plaza, is made of steel. It is big and imposing (but to me, a local, comforting at the same time!). It looks different from every angle. Nobody really knows exactly what it’s supposed to be, but everyone knows what town it lives in. The Picasso can be seen in many movies filmed in Chicago. It’s home.