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New State Street Banners Designed By A Local Artist Celebrate Chicago Public Art

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 5, 2017 10:03PM

Chicago Loop Alliance

It's a big year for public art in Chicago, from the towering Muddy Waters mural at State and Washington to the presidential troll across from Trump Tower to, well, pretty much everywhere. The Loop stepped into the game further on Wednesday as a series of snazzy banners that depict famous Chicago public artworks were installed along State St. downtown. Public art that celebrates public art. How meta.

The banners—which were commissioned by the Chicago Loop Alliance and designed by local graphic artist Bob Faust to coincide with the city's Year of Public Art initiative—depict eight iconic works of Chicago public art in a punchy, minimalist visual scheme. Among the representations are Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate" (known to the masses as The Bean), the Picasso in Daley Plaza and Jean DuBuffet's (endangered) "Monument with Standing Beast."

The goal was to strip down the well-known works to their basic essence, and transform the street experience in the process, according to Kate Keleman, Creative and Placemaking Manager at the Chicago Loop Alliance.

"Each work of public art brings up an emotion in citizens and viewers, and this experiment aims to see which forms capture that spirit and communicate it most efficiently," Keleman told Chicagoist about the designs, which were inspired in part by Henri Matisse's cutouts.

The banners—116 in total—run along State St. from Lake Street to Congress Parkway. They will be on display from July 5 through 30. Go take a peek.