The streets are abounding with public arts in Chicago. They’re installed by really famous artists—from Picasso to Chagall to Miro to Kapoor. And if you are an able traveller, you can actually walk to all of these public arts from one street to another. Somehow, these arts blend with their kind of environment where they are installed and they create a feeling that they’ve been there standing with the people of Chicago–no matter what. They’re indispensable parts of the city in which if one is taken out, the city’s broken with an arm or a leg.
Here are some of the Public Arts you should see when visiting the Windy City.
THE PICASSO – Nobody really knows what Picasso was trying to portray here. As most of his works, the image of the statue is distorted but you can quiet guess it’s a woman. This is even untitled. People just call it as, The Picasso. The Spanish artist gave it to the people of Chicago for free. It stands at 50 feet tall.
If you are a fan of Picasso, head to the Chicago Arts Institute for a special exhibition of his works.
THE SUN, THE MOON AND ONE STAR. Joan Miro’s art piece is known to the local as Miro’s Chicago. It’s across where The Picasso is located. It’s an expensive statue that cost more than $250,000.
FOUR SEASONS. This grand mosaic is a gift from the artist himself, Marc Chagall, who also crafted America Windows that is a permanent fixture at Chicago Institute. If you go around this mosaic, you can see the different mood, environment, feelings and activities that people do in each season.
MONUMENT WITH STANDING BEAST. This fiber glass piece is a work of French artist, Jean Dubuffet. I have to go around it to figure out the standing beast. Though it looks more like a puzzle to me, the locals call it, “Snoopy in a Blender.” Now, that’s some kind of name!
FLAMINGO. This is, no doubt, my favorite of all public arts in Chicago. It’s so gracefully crafted and with that color, red, it looks fierce surrounded by the the glass buildings that are nothing but boring, tall skyscrapers. Another way to admire this is to look at its reflection on the glass wall on the post office building on your right (not pictured here). Alexander Calder‘s work is a real beauty to behold—its angular curves are perfectly done with finesse!
STATUE OF INDUSTRY (left) and STATUE OF AGRICULTURE (right) is sandwiched between Chicago Board of Trade Building and McDonalds. These statues where lost but were found in someone’s warehouse years later.
STATUE OF CERES, GODDESS OF AGRICULTURE. Atop the tall Chicago Trade Building is a statue of Ceres. You have to go a bit far from the building to appreciate it. Or, gaze up and good luck if you can see it from the bottom facade of the building.
THE LIONS. The Chicago Arts Institute is guarded by two huge lion statues. The sculptor, Edward Kemey, is a self-taught artist who is known for its works of wild animals.
CROWN FOUNTAIN. Come visit at night when the water reflects its two 50ft LED screens that show close-ups of the people of Chicago. The portrait’s mouth squirts water as if it’s spitting.
THE BEAN. Anish Kapoor’s brilliant sculpture is a Chicago symbol you won’t miss. Ever. Everything bends to the power of The Bean.
PILSEN MURALS. Of course, don’t miss Pilsen neighborhood to be awed by its murals and graffiti in the area.
I have no idea what these statues are. I found it somewhere in Millennium Park and they’re off-limits to visitors.
THE OLD STOCK EXCHANGE ARCH. Ok, this one is not really a public art but I found this intriguing that they still preserve it. It blends well with the skyscrapers as its background.
OLD MARSHALL FIELD CLOCK. It’s not a public art but I think it’s hard to ignore it. It’s photogenic, right?
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