Wednesday morning July 7th the Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) will unveil EYE; a lifelike, three-story (30-foot-tall) blue iris (the same as the artist) eyeball sculpture by internationally-renowned Chicago-based contemporary artist Tony Tasset. Eye will be mounted on the Escalator cover at Pritzker Park on the corner of State Street and Van Buren.
In addition to the steel reinforced fiberglass Eye (currently being fabricated by F.A.S.T. Corp. of Sparta, Wisconsin) Tony Tasset is also installing 156 street banners revealing a bold red cardinal – the state bird – in flight against a bright blue sky which in series animates like a flip book on State Street lamp posts north from Congress Parkway to Wacker Drive. The artworks are the centerpiece of CLA’s inaugural Art Loop 2010. An annual celebration of public art in the Loop the Chicago Loop Alliance hopes to continue in which a new work by an important artist is commissioned each summer, along with free related educational and cultural programs, and promotions and discounts from CLA member partners.
CLA Executive Director Ty Tabing is quoted saying:
“We expect Tony Tasset’s EYE at Pritzker Park will become a destination for those living, working and visiting the Loop, and we hope this temporary art installation encourages the public to tour the area and discover all of the incredible public art on display year round. Tony is an artist who excels in multiple art forms – from the visual art of CARDINAL to the sculptural EYE – and we’re proud to showcase this Chicago talent in our first Art Loopseason.”
According to Tasset,
“I hope both EYE and CARDINAL change the everyday experience for pedestrians and drivers along State Street. The image of the flying bird is quieting and humble in contrast to the commercial bustle surrounding it, while the enormous scale of the EYE serves to miniaturize its surroundings. Although EYE and CARDINAL are unique works and do not depend on each other, the two works are linked formally; by the red, white and blue color pallet as well as the repetition of the eye in the bird close up. The juxtaposition of these two archetypal images with the city of Chicago as a backdrop should create a grand surreal picture, in the spirit of Magritte and Dali.”
Other components of CLA’s Art Loop 2010 include its new Pop-Up Art Loop™ initiative which has transformed empty storefronts in the Loop into a moveable feast of public art galleries, exhibits and studios. Pop-Up Art Loop has created some 12 temporary galleries to date, showcasing professional photography, sculpture, 2-D art, video and new media, installations and more. In addition, a free, downloadable Loop the Loop walking tour of public art, including the Tasset exhibition, the Pop-Up Art Loop Galleries, and permanent installations by Calder, Miro, Chagall, Picasso and Kapoor is available on the Chicago Loop Alliance website. The tour is also available via pre-loaded MP3 players on loan at the ArchiCenter at 224 S. Michigan Avenue.