Anish Kapoor has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the National Rifle Association (NRA) for its use of Cloud Gate in an advertisement.
The 2017 NRA ad, titled The Clenched Fist of Truth, features several recognisable landmarks, including Cloud Gate, known colloquially as “the Bean” and located in Chicago’s Millennium Park. The sculpture is shown among black-and-white flashes of protest in rhetoric that aims to recruit new members and solicit donations.
In an open letter released in March with the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety Kapoor comments, “the ad seeks to whip up fear and hate. It plays to the basest and most primal impulses of paranoia, conflict and violence”. Kapoor then asked the NRA to remove his work from the video, not wanting it to be “used to promote their vile message”. However, this demand was not met, and with the “solidarity and support” of the public, he has decided to take further action.
The artist filed the complaint on 19 June in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The suit seeks $150,000 per infringement and “demands that the NRA pay for Kapoor’s legal fees and return any profits gained from the use of Cloud Gate, which the artist registered with the U.S Copyright Office in January 2016,” states ArtNews. It also demands the court to stop the NRA from running the ad, which depicts “a clear call to armed violence against liberals and the media”.