Sky Mirror v. The Bean (Bean Wins)

skymirror.jpgThe Sky Mirror, set to be installed in Rockefeller Center on Sept. 19, is a 35-foot-diameter concave mirror by Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor. Made of polished stainless steel, it will stand nearly three stories tall at the Fifth Avenue entrance and will present viewers with an inversion of the skyline featuring the historic landmark building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

I probably shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions before it’s even installed, but since I’m on a “Chicago kicks arse” tangent (for more on that click here and here), I’m going to predict that The Sky Mirror (also designed by Kapoor) will not razzle dazzle ’em as much as The Bean in Chicago’s Millennium Park. This is partly having to do with the context. Yes, Rockefeller Plaza is thought of as one of the greatest public spaces in America, but Millennium Park is hailed as one of the greatest public spaces on earth. What’s more, The Bean (formally named Cloud Gate), with 360 degrees of viewing, provides infinite distortions and juxtapositions, and it’s much more interactive. You can walk underneath the twelve-foot arch, as well as around it (66 feet long and 33 feet high). The Sky Mirror will offer different images as people pass in and out of it’s reflection, but it’s essentially just a mirror, a two-dimensional sculpture.

For more images of The Bean, go to flickr (where these came from).


2 Responses to Sky Mirror v. The Bean (Bean Wins)

  1. Kevin says:

    As a native New Yorker recently returned here after thirteen wonderful years in Chicago — The Bean is The Bomb. The Bomb! I’m something of a Millenium Park skeptic. It’s the location — with a wonderful wall of Randolph Street and Michigan Ave building facades — that makes it great, not so much what they have done in the park itself. That said — The Bean is awesome, awesome, awesome. It’s actually why the Mil Pk fans are raving so much about it.

  2. […] Before the Sky Mirror was even installed, I wrote a post (click here) guessing that it would not compare well to The Bean in Chicago’s Millennium Park even though it’s by the same sculptor, Anish Kapoor. Alas, how right I turned out to be! I happened to be in the area this afternoon (Rockefeller Center) and stopped by to see the large concave-shaped sculpture for myself. It’s not at all interactive as the The Bean is, it’s not nearly as photographable, and you can’t really get near it. It’s a bigger disappointment than I imagined. Granted, it was a cloudy day, but really the only good thing about the Sky Mirror is that it’s a temporary installation. Otherwise, it would be quite embarassing to have such an inferior work of public art compared to Chicago. If you want to see a truly photographable piece of public art, go to flickr and search “the bean chicago” and just see what comes up. […]

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