Giant eyeball sculpture in Chicago

 Cnn 2010 Travel 06 07 Chicago.Eyeball.Sculpture T1Larg
EYE is a three-story tall eyeball sculpture that artist Tony Tasset will install in Chicago's Pritzker Park next month. You can see it, and it can see you, until the end of October. From CNN:
Tasset chose an eye because it is a powerful symbol that has been used throughout history -- by the Egyptians, for example. He designed a similar but much smaller sculpture for a park in St. Louis, Missouri.

The steel reinforced fiberglass EYE has a blue iris because that is the color of Tasset's eyes. The installation has a psychological edge to it and some people could find it creepy, Tasset acknowledged, calling it "surrealist-noir."
"Will giant eye sculpture lure tourists?"


  1. Oh, so this is the public installation that I’ve seen ads for around downtown. Idk… I’ve never seen advertisements for an art installation, it’s a little odd.

  2. Well. I will hold my comments until I see it completed, but it’s good that there is a high profile public art piece that is actually made by a chicago artist.

    Picasso, who made the sculpture in daily plaza had no interest of ever visiting chicago.

    Anish Kapoor made the giant reflective abortion that is “cloud gate” and is no resident of chicago.

    Good good. Tony also did a piece called Blob Monster that was downtown this spring…

  3. I hope that Google Maps captures the location while it’s in place. That would be an interesting street view image.

  4. the artist’s name is Tony Tasset, not Terry Tasset. he was one of my art professors at University of Illinois Chicago some years ago. woot!

  5. So, is it going to be a gift to the city, or will it be privately owned? In other words, will it be a public eye or a private eye?

  6. I’m a city employee and this really burns me up.

    The whole Pritzker Pavillion/Millenium Park downtown space is a gigantic money hole. Billions (literally, Millenium park was nearly a billion bucks over budget) have been spent to make a tourist trap that is an eyesore (pardon) in the middle of one of the most beautiful and architecturally significant cities on the continent.

    The space is almost entirely loathed by the actual citizens of the city. The food in the cafes at the park are hideously expensive. The cops try to enforce crazy fake copy-right crimes on people taking “professional-level” photographs. The same cops/”private park security” go zooming around on segways. Keeping the park safe from people in mobility scooters?

    Every warm weekend in Chicago we have a rash of shootings on the south and west side. Murders are up, again. Every year a classroom full of CPS students are lost to gang violence. Our libraries are on reduced hours, a hiring freeze as been in effect for nearly half a decade in some departments that DESPERATELY need staff.

    Our mayor (who has been in office for 20 years) an his cronies have put dump-trucks full of money into these gaudy and ridiculous projects. They claim it’s all private funding, but even the most cursory glance (something our two town papers can’t be bothered to do) shows that is a lie.

    Chicago is a city in deep, deep trouble.

    And our response is a big goofy tourist attraction that people coming to Chicago aren’t really coming to Chicago to see anyway.


    1. Here here. I was holding off on that rant and ramble and was pleasantly surprised that the artist is actually somehow connected to the city. But yeah, it’s a money pit, and an obnoxious one at that.

    2. I’m burned up that a city employee (Anon #9) is so uninformed about the city. This sculpture is being installed in Pritzker Park, not Pritzker Pavilion. I was going to get into how off-base your comments on Millennium Park are ($1 billion over budget? Nuh-uh. Total cost: $475 million) but since that’s a completely different place than the one in the article, let’s just leave it alone.

      I work a few blocks from where this will be going up, and I look forward to seeing it eye-to-eye.

    3. The sculpture is at Pritzker Park, not at Millenium Park or the Pritzker Pavillion – both of which bring in tourism dollars which support our local economy. The stronger a local economy is, the more money we have to pay for things through taxes – e.g., law enforcement. Big picture, folks.

  7. One man’s art is everyone else’s creepy stress inducer. People shouldn’t have this sort of crap forced on them without their consent.

  8. That part of downtown Chicago isn’t really touristy, so maybe they need something like this to pull more traffic into the vicinity. The Harold Washington Library is right there, and although it’s cool, it’s not a tourist attraction the way Navy Pier, lakefront and the big museums are.

  9. No thank you. I’m glad there’s an ocean between me and that thing. Disembodied eyeballs are the sort of stuff that fuels my nightmares.

    Partially because I shudder at the thought of damage to the eyes, and partly due to the “Pink elephants on parade” segment in Dumbo.


  10. Will it sprout legs and walk around like the eyeball robot from Johnny Quest? If it does, I’d totally come down on the train from Wisconsin for that.


  12. Technically, does anyone know if the eye is a flat disk (like signage) or somewhat convex?

    Painted -or- digitally printed?

    I doubt it would be fully spherical due to it’s enormity.

    It is being called a ‘sculpture’ as opposed a painted or photographic work so I assume that there is an element of depth involved.
    If it is, in fact, a flat disk, I would tend to call it a painting or photographic art ( whatever technique is proposed). Am I off base with that?

    Eye like it :)

  13. Hey-I’m a Chicagoan and I like Millennium Park. I’m Damn glad we didn’t get the Olympics, too.
    Now, the Northerly Island takeover of Mieg’s Field was just plain wrong.
    That the city needs to do more to stop youth violence on the south and west sides is all too true, but doing less to get tourists to spend money here, thereby increasing the city’s funds won’t help. Most of the segways in the park are used by tour groups.

  14. PS “Eye” actually DO like it, very much.
    The utter utilitarianism of the typical urban environment requires some non-utilitarian relief.
    Some urban landscapes seriously needs to be less serious.
    IMO the surrealists were partly right: the world ought to be indeed more dreamlike – but this only applies (IMHO) to those parts which are not sufficiently dream-like enough in their present state.

  15. Spend all the resources to put it there, to be taken off after a few months? Hmph. And then what will happen to it?

  16. They should make it so it can rotate and then put motion sensors on it so that it ‘stares’ at people. It would instantly become the most awesome thing ever.

  17. This will at least protect the city from William Prescott, who will waste all his ammunition long before he’s close in.

  18. this reminds me of an installation by artist Luke Savisky on New Years Eve ’07 in Austin. He let people peer through a hole into a camera and projected it onto a teardrop-shaped downtown water tower for all to see. A very cool effect. amateur video here:

  19. This is clearly illuminati symbology, it would be interesting to see where the money and approval came from.

  20. One more question (to remain unanswered:

    What does the BACK of the Eye look like???

    Does it look like one of those old movie prop-sets with 2 x 4’s and plywood leaning up against it to hold it up?

  21. It is beautiful! The crew working on it are so talented. I am so grateful that EYE is in Chicago! I am confused how so many comments above are negative. What happened to enjoying art? If you do not care for it, don’t look at it.

  22. the eye ball is so awsome i love it if had the money i would go and see it :)oh yea you people who get to see it will be happy

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