Anish Kapoor sues NRA for using Chicago 'Bean' sculpture in advertisement

Ailis Brennan
Chicago controversy: Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate featured in an advertisement produced by the National Rifle Association: AFP/Getty Images

British artist Anish Kapoor is suing the National Rifle Association for copyright infringement, after the organisation featured a sculpture of his in a promotional video.

Cloud Gate, a sculpture which stands in Chicago’s Millennium Park often referred to as The Bean, was among the landmarks featured in an NRA advertisement entitled The Clenched Fist of Truth or The Violence of Lies.

The Turner Prize winning artist filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on June 19, at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Kapoor claims he is entitled to $150,000 in damages, compensation for legal fees and a share of the NRA’s profits from new memberships or donations that came as a result of the video.

The legal complaint claimed that the advertisement was “designed to provoke fear, if not incite violence” and Kapoor was “shocked and outraged” to find that it showed the Chicago sculpture.

The action follows the March 2018 release of an open letter by Kapoor, which condemned the use of the sculpture in the video, in which Kapoor said “The NRA’s video gives voice to xenophobic anxiety, and a further call to ‘arm’ the population against a fictional enemy.” The March statement was released in collaboration with the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.