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Here's why ‘the Bean’ is better than its creator's new installation in Brooklyn

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Anish Kapoor, the artist behind Millennium Park’s iconic Cloud Gate (a.k.a. “the Bean”) recently unveiled his latest New York installation—a giant whirlpool called “Descension,” on view in Brooklyn Bridge Park through September 10. The 26-foot-diameter pool constantly spirals downward (hence the name) and is set against the Manhattan skyline. While it certainly can be mesmerizing to stare into a swirling pool of water, we came up with 8 reasons why Kapoor’s famous Chicago sculpture still reigns supreme.

1. No matter how hard you try, it’s really hard to take a selfie of your reflection in a whirlpool.

2. “The Bean” is art for all seasons, “Descension” is going to freeze in the winter.

3. “Descension” is across the river from Manhattan, but “the Bean” is right in the thick of downtown Chicago.

4. “The Bean” was immortalized in Lego form—it’s going to be difficult to do the same with “Descension.”

5. You’re not allowed to touch “Descension,” but you can put your greasy mitts (or your tongue, if you don’t mind the germs) all over “The Bean.”

6. “The Bean” is a catchier nickname than “The Whirlpool” (and won’t be confused with a dishwasher).

7. There’s no chance of “The Bean” becoming clogged by a rogue plastic bag.

8. “Descension” is basically just a downward spiral, while “the Bean” is reflective and bends toward the sky. We’ll let you hash out the symbolism on your own.

Photograph: Jonathan Samples

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