Cloud Gate, Chicago
One of the most iconic structures of Chicago, Cloud Gate is a public sculpture created by artist Anish Kapoor. It can be found in Millenium Park, at the centre of the AT&T Plaza and is fondly nicknamed ‘The Bean’ due to its shape. Made of 168 stainless steel plates that have been welded together, the surface of the structure shows no visible seams in a tribute to the inspiration for the design – liquid mercury. Visitors can walk around and under the sculpture, which reflects the surrounding scenery of Chicago, distorting the skyline and warping reflections. The lower 6 feet of ‘The Bean’ are wiped down twice a day, and the entire thing is cleaned twice a year.
Charging Bull, New York City
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Wall Street Bull’ or ‘Bowling Green Bull’, the Charging Bull is a bronze structure that can be found in the financial district of Manhattan, New York City. Due to its appearance in films, including Hitch, Arthur and The Wolf of Wall Street, the bull is instantly recognised by many as an icon of the city, and Wall Street in particular. It is one of the city’s most photographed artworks and draws tourists to the financial district year round. Originally installed as an act of ‘guerrilla art’, the bull was intended as a symbol of strength following the 1987 stock market crash.
Jerusalem Upside Down, Jerusalem
Shaped like an hourglass, Jerusalem Upside Down is a sculpture found at the highest point of The Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Its reflective surface flips the city of Jerusalem into the sky, signifying the spiritual importance of the city. Another creation of Anish Kapoor, the sculpture is immediately recognisable as the work of the artist, providing a distorted reflection of reality.
Unisphere, New York City
Another structure that is instantly recognisable after featuring heavily in popular culture, the Unisphere is located in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park, in the borough of Queens, New York City. It is 140 feet high, weighing in at 320,000kg, and is the worlds largest global structure. It was conceived and constructed as the symbol of the 1964-1965 New York’s World Fair, in homage to the theme of ‘Peace Through Understanding’. In 1993 a complete restoration of the structure began, finishing in May 1994. This included numerous repairs as well as an intensive cleaning of years’ worth of grime from the steel. On the 10th May 195, the Unisphere was given official landmark status by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.