Today we’re going to discuss the man, the myth, the legend: Anish Kapoor. Mr. Kapoor, famed sculptor and visionary, was born in Bombay, India in 1954 and after a failed attempt at electrical engineering (on a kibbutz in Israel, no less), he decided to become an artist in London. Kapoor was a student at London’s Hornsey College of Art and the Chelsea School of Art and Design. At this point in time, Mr. Kapoor has been made a Commander of the British Empire and a Commander in the French Ordres et des Lettres. Pretty badass, huh? Let’s take a look at some of his famous design-centric pieces.
Tall Tree and Eye
Tall Tree and Eye is in the courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts and is formed by 76 stainless steel “bubbles” that seem to float towards the tops of the surrounding buildings. The bubbles seem to reflect images endlessly and almost seem inspired by human DNA though the artist insists he didn’t intend for that. With this piece of design, the weight of stainless steel transforms into something light and airy.
This amazing piece of sculpture sits in Atlanta at the High Museum. Untitled (2009) is a concave dish that was polished and sanded into a repeating triangular pattern that distorts the viewer into hundreds of fragmented images.
Turning the World Upside Down
This piece was in Anish Kapoor’s Turning the World Upside Down exhibit; this freestanding water-based piece was intended to reflect its nearby surroundings in unusual organic ways.
This is perhaps the most famous of Kapoor’s works: Cloud Gate or “the Bean” to Chicagoans (this writer is a Chicagoan so she has full authority!) This enormous piece of stainless steel is 186 plates welded together and polished so as to not have seams. The result? A vast sculpture on the city’s skyline that reflects and distorts the surrounding buildings. Stand under the bean and your jaw will drop…believe me.
ArcelorMittal Orbit is a 377 feet tall sculpture and observation tower that was designed by Anish Kapoor in conjunction with engineer Cecil Balmond. It sits in the Olympic Park in Stratford, London and was created for the London Olympics in 2012. It is Britain’s largest piece of public art and allows visitors to see the whole Olympic Park from two vantage points.
This concludes the Anish Kapoor virtual tour but keep up with ToMo’s design blog for future inspirations!