Artist Kapoor finds beauty in London's Olympic orbit

Fri May 11, 2012 2:00pm EDT
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By Avril Ormsby

LONDON (Reuters) - Turner prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor said on Friday that Britons would grow to love his spiraling red tower on London's Olympic Park, just as people had come to appreciate other structures initially loathed, including the Eiffel Tower.

The 115-metre tall structure, higher than London's Big Ben and New York's Statue of Liberty has divided opinion, with some describing it as resembling a carnival slide or a water pipe.

But the artist, dressed in a blue laborer's style suit with zips on the legs, told reporters the tower, consisting of giant entwined steel lattice figures of eight, would win over the public.

"I think controversy is okay, it's part of the deal whether you like it or not," he said.

When asked whether he thought it was beautiful, he said "yes".

"It's awkward, it has its elbows sticking out."

He said it was experimental and unsettling, and "I think that unsettling is part of this curious word 'beauty.'"

He noted the Eiffel Tower in Paris had been referred to as the most horrendously ugly structure when it was built.   Continued...

The designers of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, Cecil Balmond (L) and Anish Kapoor, pose for photographs at the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the London 2012 Olympic Park in east London May 11, 2012. REUTERS/ Ki Price