Its designer, Anish Kapoor, was inspired by liquid mercury – or quicksilver – and sought to both reflect and distort the Windy City’s skyline.
Now, the Indian-born artist is reportedly considering legal action against the town of Karamay-which commissioned the work-in order to protect his copyrights, and he called on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to support him, the Independent reported.
Cloud Gate – nicknamed “The Bean” – is a Chicago landmark and major tourist attraction in the city’s Millennium Park, having opened in 2006.
According to Blair Kamin, architecture critic at the Chicago Tribune, Kapoor is calling this plagiarism and is threatening to sue, but I’d say there are some critical differences here.
In a statement published in the Daily Telegraph, Kapoor said: “It seems that in China today it is permissible to steal the creativity of others”.
However, Chinese media denied the claims insisting that their stainless steel work is intended to represent “a big oil bubble” and any similarities were coincidental.
The Chinese known for their knockoffs have already plagiarised a building complex by Zaha Hadid and have made reproductions of severl of Jeff Koons” “Balloon Dog’ polished steel sculptures.
The reports carried photographs of the Chinese sculpture, which resembles Kapoor’s. “I hope the Mayor of Chicago will join me in this action”. He said: “The Chinese authorities must act to stop this kind of infringement”.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time, Massachusetts Jun, the planning and construction-management section chief of Karamay’s Tourism Bureau, said the artist creating the “bubble” is Chinese. “Cloud Gate” intends to reflect the sky, but ours reflects the ground; that’s why we used granite to imitate oil waves (in the area surrounding the sculpture)”.