While people will always argue what is the best of something, I have to say that this sculpture/work of public art by Anish Kapoor is the best public art I have experienced. It is immensely popular, and people look very happy when they see and interact with it. Children, of course, love it, but so do adults of all ages and backgrounds.
It has international, dare I say universal, appeal. Perhaps on some level, it speaks to our own vanity, as we enjoy seeing our reflections on its surface, but in doing so, it appears to speak to us at a very basic, spiritual, level as well. The sky and surrounding buildings are reflected on the surface, and if you move to the underside, you get a real fun-house effect with multiple versions of yourself and others on all sides.
Every time I have visited, I have seen wedding parties (or styled photo-shoots for magazines), countless tourists, and local children posing and playing around the sculpture. I never fails to fill me with a sense of joy and wonder, whether I am in the mood for people or not, as there are different aspects to focus on.
Sculpturally, it is beautiful, but in execution, it is also brilliant. The Bean makes me happy. ♥