John & Anne Wiley

2011/05/27

Thou Art

Chicago has just made our list of top cities. Adding to the fun we’ve already had here in such a short time, today began creatively. Looking out the window I saw the reflection of our hotel in the office building across the street and then noticed the top of a nearby building that I snapped by squeezing the camera out through the narrow window opening of our room for my first pic of the day.

0673 Inn Chicago

0673 Inn Chicago

Walking to ride the El I snapped the exotic looking Lux where we ended up for a surprisingly affordable dinner on the way home tonight.

0675 High Lux

0675 High Lux

We liked how the name of the bus route resonated with our increasingly quirky mood and gathering energy.

0677 Inner Drive

0677 Inner Drive

The city’s architecture seemed even more enchanting somehow, even the buildings we’ve already seen and photographed. The designs change as you move around, and they all interact to create a sum greater than the parts.

0688 Dance of the Buildings

0688 Dance of the Buildings

Then there’s the art. It’s everywhere! Because it radiates from the infrastructure and buildings, every public installation takes it up another notch. Many of the larger works are innately interactive, and one of the better examples is the Cloud Gate.

0741 Cloud Gate

0741 Cloud Gate

You could video the people coming and going, and that itself would be art. So many angles to see, and ways of distorting the city, ourselves, and our reality so that everything we perceive is Art (in case we forgot). The dynamic grand Crown Fountain nearby does something similar.

0750 Crown Fountain

0750 Crown Fountain

With so much art everywhere, I was reluctant to go indoors to an art museum but luckily Anne persisted and we took our now more open eyes into the Art Institute of Chicago.

0757 Indoor Art

0757 Indoor Art

One of the first exhibits we encountered was the extensive gallery of doll house miniatures so detailed and creatively-lit that photos of them look real without the perspective of an observer in the frame.

0775 Art of Small

0775 Art of Small

As outside, people interact with the art and each other to become very much part of the creative process, inviting you into a magical realm beyond reality.

0795 Art Moving & Still

0795 Art Moving & Still

Here and there are spectacular views of the city, including of course its artistic buildings like the Pritzker by Frank Gehry.

0806 Art Inside Out

0806 Art Inside Out

The art on display is so spectacular it felt at times like walking through a really good art book covering every genre and era of great world art.

0827 Vincent

0827 Vincent

So many of the works are familiar, and we had absolutely no idea how many of our favorites live here along with many spectacular works that are new to us.

0845 Abundance of Art

0845 Abundance of Art

We walked for three hours, didn’t see all of it or pause long enough to deeply enjoy most of it, and when we went back outside the light falling on the buildings was almost overwhelming.

0847 Light, Shape, Color & Movement

0847 Light, Shape, Color & Movement

That sunset glow also nudges us to think about flying West tomorrow. We’ll see how it looks in the morning, but surely we’ll find time for at least a tiny bit more Art on the way out to Tripp. Of course, even if we don’t it will permeate our journey through the city and beckon us to return for another lesson in the art of life.

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