Monday, March 13, 2006

Crown Fountain, Chicago

Various Chicagoans posed in front of a video camera for the privilege of having their faces displayed on 50-foot tall towers in Chicago’s Millennium Park. I had just missed James Earl Jones by the time I had set up for this shot, and I have to admit that I do not know who this is (any helpers?). The towers (there are two of them facing each other across the plaza) provide an otherworldly, big-brotherish kind of a feeling, which I tried to heighten by desaturating the color in the background buildings along with some vignetting.

In warmer weather, the space between the two towers is filled with shallow water, and the faces spray water at people who gather in the fountain. Nothing like having a famous Chicagoan spit on you (or sneeze at you for that matter) all in the name of fun. Why didn’t New York think of this first?

Update: Some online research reveals that the faces on the towers are those of average ordinary Chicagoans - there's not a single celebrity among the 1,000 or so faces that have been recorded. So somewhere in Chicago is a guy that looks amazingly like James Earl Jones and a kid who looks like Rodney Allen Rippy.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2006 James Jordan.


keltic&swiss said...

I personally love this fountain and your idea to "dull" the colors in the background is great. There is an element of creepiness with those huge faces just staring... and spitting! :)

Roger said...

Do they burp too?

Jim said...
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Jim said...

I think that person looks like Rodney Allen Rippy.

James said...

k&s, I'ne read that the artist's idea was to create the human equivalent of gargoyles that spouted water. Creepy and wet.

Roger, they don't issue any noises or gases that I'm aware of, but they do issue forth water from the sides of the towers, so in that respect, they sweat on you.

Jim, the update to this post covers the Rodney Allen Rippy question. I've included a photo link for comparative purposes.

keltic&swiss said...

Yes, I've read that it's all just regular Chicago people's faces.
(At one point, when they had first opened this park, they had a series of pictures set up (or maybe over in Grant Park) where families from around the world were photographed with all their household possessions around them. Very intriguing to look at.)