Open your eyes

Friday 09 Jul 2010

Sure to split the critics, Chicago Loop Alliance's Art Loop 2010 welcomes 30ft 'Eye'

All eyes are on Chicago this week as 49 year old artist Tony Tasset unveiled his centrepiece for Chicago Loop Alliance's Art Lop 2010 - a giant replica of one of his own bright blue eyes. The 30ft spherical structure has been created using 15 individual pieces of fibreglass attached to a reinforced steel base, which Tasset and his team have coated with off-white paint before adding a startlingly blue iris and black pupil.

On display until 31st October this year, Eye is situated in Chicago’s Pritzker Park on the corner of State Street and Van Buren. Exaggerated over 1,000 times in size, the sculpture has been designed using a close up image of the artist’s own peepers. Tasset explains: “My job as an artist, as a sculptor, first and foremost is to make the space more interesting. I really wanted to make something that had a wow effect. This is Chicago after all. It’s the city of big shoulders. So I had to go all out.”

Eye is not the only controversial piece of public art that has graced the streets of Chicago of late. In 2006, Anish Kapoor’s shimmering ‘Cloud Gate’ was unveiled in Millennium Park, gaining both criticism and acclaim in almost equal measure from domestic and international audiences. Tourists still flock to the park to gaze at ‘The Bean’ as it is now affectionately known, and it is hoped that Tasset’s artistic contribution will have the same effect. He admitted: “I’ve always said that I want to make art that people either love or hate, never a neutral reaction. And I certainly don’t think they’ll have a neutral reaction.” And from the recent reactions turning up on blogs and review sites across the internet, it looks like Tasset has already achieved this goal!

Sian Disson
News Editor

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