Christo has died
May 31, 2020 3:00 PM   Subscribe

 
I went with my parents to see Running Fence when I was a kid. Beautiful.
posted by chavenet at 3:09 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


🎁
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 3:13 PM on May 31 [9 favorites]


oh no!

I tried to get my husbear to go see The Gates when it was happening but that trip didn't happen. I'd been looking toward his new project that he'd been planning for years.

His work spoke to me in a way that I really can't explain.

I'm sorry he is gone, but I'm happy for all he gave us while he was here. His art had a peculiar mystical quality to me, and I was always happy to see it even if I never saw any of it in person.

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posted by hippybear at 3:13 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


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posted by dmd at 3:15 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


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posted by j_curiouser at 3:16 PM on May 31


Hippybear: You still have a chance. It looks like his plans for L’Arc de Triomphe will continue for unveiling next year.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:18 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


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posted by Mrs Potato at 3:22 PM on May 31


Very much enjoyed visiting “The Gates” in Central Park.

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posted by haiku warrior at 3:26 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


⛩️ ⛩️ ⛩️ ⛩️ ⛩️
posted by grouse at 3:27 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


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posted by General Malaise at 3:28 PM on May 31


L'Arc De Triomphe Wrapped webpage.

16 days. I hope we have a vaccine by then.
posted by hippybear at 3:28 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]



posted by Nerd of the North at 3:29 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


When I first heard of him, I thought the idea of wrapping things in fabric was absurd and not good art. Many years later, while living in Brooklyn I skeptically went to see The Gates and became a total convert. Glad that by then Jeanne-Claude was getting equal billing. Pictures can never do environmental artwork justice: they have to be seen in situ. Sad that their work is coming to an end, thrilled I got to see one, like a total eclipse.
posted by rikschell at 3:30 PM on May 31 [13 favorites]


Yes the Gates was magical and definitely made me a fan.
posted by emjaybee at 3:35 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


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posted by lalochezia at 3:44 PM on May 31


The first time I heard of Christo was while growing up in S. Florida, when he wrapped islands in Biscayne Bay in pink. I didn't get to see one of his and Jeanne-Claude's installations in person until The Gates, though, and I made sure to visit that one multiple times.

His work had grown on me a lot over the years. There haven't been too many other postmodern artists like him.

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posted by May Kasahara at 3:51 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


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posted by evilDoug at 3:58 PM on May 31


I remember back in the late 70's in Kansas City when they wrapped the pathways in Loose Park in gold. Didn't get a lot of acclaim from the locals...

It was cool.

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posted by Windopaene at 3:59 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 4:00 PM on May 31


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posted by helmutdog at 4:02 PM on May 31


I had a magical trip to see The Gates when I was a teenager. We caught it when snow had fallen the day before and it was magical.

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posted by damayanti at 4:05 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


I "helped" install some of The Gates. It was open to the community to sign up, which I thought was so exciting. Ann Richards was one of the volunteers as well (There was also a team of Germans who had worked on previous projects who were definitely the skilled workers). Jeanne-Claude and Christo came through the final day to all the stations and signed all of our jackets.

The project was so cool. They were so amazing.

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posted by armacy at 4:06 PM on May 31 [25 favorites]


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posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 4:10 PM on May 31


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posted by Smart Dalek at 4:11 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]


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posted by ahimsakid at 4:12 PM on May 31


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posted by hydra77 at 4:30 PM on May 31


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posted by Foosnark at 4:43 PM on May 31


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posted by Kattullus at 4:49 PM on May 31


I loved the Surrounded Islands project.
It just seemed so right that Miami islands should be bordered in luminous pink.
posted by adamvasco at 4:54 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


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posted by 404 Not Found at 5:00 PM on May 31


I was in Berlin in the summer of 1995, when Christo wrapped the Reichstag in silver fabric. It drew huge crowds. I distinctly remember some cranky German hipster with a sign that said "Dies ist kein Kunstwerk!" (This is not art!) and would rant at the crowd that Christo was a fraud.
posted by zardoz at 5:11 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]


This is not art!

Well, you might think that it is bad art, or failed art, but what the hell else is it? It's not science, it's not really entertainment, it's not engineering.
posted by thelonius at 5:25 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


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posted by rhizome at 5:25 PM on May 31


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As a teenager in the mid-80s, I had the honor and pleasure of visiting Jeanne-Claude and Christo in their home in NYC (my dad's second wife was an acquaintance and had one of their studies for the Pont Neuf hanging in the bedroom), which was where/when I first head about the Gates project. I was amazed when the project actually took place, and incredibly bummed that I couldn't get up to New York for it. Those two were just such incredible people. Sigh.
posted by jburka at 5:32 PM on May 31 [10 favorites]


As a teenager in the mid-80s, I had the honor and pleasure of visiting Jeanne-Claude and Christo in their home in NYC

You know, as one does....
posted by hippybear at 5:48 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


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posted by brujita at 5:56 PM on May 31


"It's not science, it's not really entertainment, it's not engineering."

I'd argue that it's definitely entertainment, and engineering (to some extent), and that it's most definitely 100% absolutely art.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:19 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


🌌
posted by clavdivs at 6:24 PM on May 31


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posted by dlugoczaj at 6:34 PM on May 31


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posted by monkeymike at 6:49 PM on May 31


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posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:49 PM on May 31


Well, that's a wrap.
posted by awfurby at 7:04 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Sadly, I never had the opportunity to visit any of Christo’s installations. Nonetheless, I was a great admirer of both the work and the processes of creating the work.

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posted by Thorzdad at 7:09 PM on May 31


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Christo was kind enough to visit students and staff at Denver School of the Arts when he was in the area working on his Over the River project planned for Colorado, conceived in 1992, but never installed. Part of the magic of his art, though, is that many of us have seen so many images of it (and even signed up for pending kayak expeditions!) that it still did for many of us what art is supposed to do for us. He was kind and clear about his work in the time he spent with us at DSA.
posted by kozad at 7:13 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]


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posted by Bob Regular at 7:34 PM on May 31


I'd argue that it's definitely entertainment

Well this is admittedly elitist, but I don't think that someone who was looking for a TV show sort of experience would be fulfilled by it.
posted by thelonius at 7:49 PM on May 31


To elaborate, I didn't agree with the hipster, I thought Christo's work fell quite objectively into the realm of art, I just thought the scene was extremely amusing--that of someone completely earnestly, a guy almost certainly an artist himself, getting on his soapbox and complain about it.
posted by zardoz at 8:50 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


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posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:50 PM on May 31


The Gates was the most profound artistic experience of my life.

I flew down for the final weekend, and I was simply blown away. The people, the energy, the colour moving above the drab landscape. I had no thoughts, only joy. And at one point, I went up a hill, and I ran into Christo and Jeanne Claude themselves, as happy as could be. It was all so infectious!

The Sunday night, after it had ‘closed’, I was walking through it again, way up on the north end of Central Park. It was snowing heavily now. There was absolutely no-one around. The Gates were orange, and were flapping about in the wind. The only sound. The snow was falling, and it was light up by the orange sodium light of the park streetlights, and everything became this huge monochrome in orange, the swirling snow in the black sky, the flapping of the fabric the only noise. I was transported to another place, right where I was.

I’ve never experienced anything like that before or since, nor do I expect to.

I booked a flight to see their new Paris show, and it’s been moved twice. I will be sure to see it. I must see it. I cannot but see it.

Thank you, Christo and Jeanne Claude, you makers of magic.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:14 PM on May 31 [32 favorites]


Capt. Renault, you just inspired a few unexpected tears here. I love when art does that. Thank you for sharing. I wish I'd seen it myself.
posted by hippybear at 9:19 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


DEAR MODS PLEASE LET ME FAVORITE CAPT. RENAULT'S COMMENT MORE THAN ONCE K THNX BYE
posted by hippybear at 9:38 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


I got to see The Umbrellas and loved it. I always looked for any excuse to mention Christo/Jeanne-Claude in college.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:50 PM on May 31


I would have loved to visit one of their works. The capacity for something like that to completely transport you from your day-to-day perspective is precious.
posted by awfurby at 12:28 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


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posted by quazichimp at 12:45 AM on June 1


16 days. I hope we have a vaccine by then.

Everything I'm finding says he died of natural causes.


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posted by tzikeh at 12:46 AM on June 1


it's not engineering.

This was a dumb thing that I said - of course it takes engineering to realize these artworks . What I should have said is that it is not done for utilitarian reasons, like building a bridge or a road interchange.

Basically I would say that it's "not art" only if you have a very reactionary concept of art.
posted by thelonius at 1:23 AM on June 1


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posted by eclectist at 1:29 AM on June 1


🌂
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:35 AM on June 1


I grew up in Miami and had the fortunate experience to visit the Pink Islands by boat with a bunch of classmates. We weren't supposed to touch it but a few of us rule breakers leaned over and reached to let our fingers touch the edge of pink woven material.

When I tell you that the Pink Islands was a really big deal in Miami, I'm not doing justice to just how exciting, amazing, and beautiful it was. The waters in Biscayne Bay are shallow and almost a greenish blue when it's sunny and the pink just set it off nicely. The blue and pink matched the color of the sky at sunset.

The art was more impactful from a distance than up close on a boat, IMO, but the work involved in surrounding the islands was fantastic to see in person. At some point I was given a small pink square of fabric, a scrap, and it should still be packed away in the attic.

I love how ephemeral Christo's and Jeanne-Claude's art was and how it lives on in memory. Pure joy and magic.

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posted by vivzan at 5:51 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


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Thank you enormously for your work, Christo (and Jeanne-Claude, what a partnership!).

I walked through most of The Gates the morning after a fresh snow, and it was amazing, as previously described (joyful and ecstatic also come to mind). I love their art and most of all, I've always loved their uncompromising, purely expressive artistic ideals and the integrity in their work that results. Good or bad, their work was exactly what they wanted it to be, and it was created for no reason other than to offer the experience of it (which is more than enough reason, but the enormous scale and utilitarian pointlessness of their work has always made me happy).

People think they don't really care about art much, until a truly riveting work of art comes into their world, and then we all suddenly sort of remember that high-minded, seemingly esoteric creative work has many of its own, very worthwhile, rewards for all of us. Our shared world is richer because of their work. Rest in peace.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:17 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


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The one installation I saw in person was kind of disappointing compared to the descriptions of it, to me personally. (I'm also a cynical asshole who hates 95% of all artwork in every medium.) But, the world needs more big, weird, fun things that serve no practical purpose and I can't think of anyone who did more to make that happen in my lifetime. I love the ideas of Cristo and Jeanne-Claude, and the idea of Cristo and Jeanne-Claude.
posted by eotvos at 7:33 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


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posted by riverlife at 7:50 AM on June 1


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posted by SystematicAbuse at 9:14 AM on June 1


I also spent a very memorable and enjoyable fall day touring The Gates with my mom, my aunt and my uncle. I was 16 years old and it was an early lesson in the power of non-traditional art that has stuck with me ever since. I subsequently moved to Colorado and was bummed that "Over the River" never came to fruition, but given the potential environmental disruption and the staunch local resistance it was probably for the best.
posted by zeusianfog at 10:35 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Here’s my photo album from when I visited The Gates. Old digital camera showing its age but I’m glad to have what I have! It was great with the snow but I always wished to have seen The Gates in the spring. Surprisingly, I haven’t looked at these in probably ten years and I now like the black and white more than the color.
posted by Chickenring at 12:21 PM on June 1 [5 favorites]


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posted by Lynsey at 2:34 PM on June 1


A bit of a synopsis article from Architectural Digest looking back: A Look Back at AD’s Illuminating Visit to Christo’s 1980s New York Loft
posted by hippybear at 7:33 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


completely earnestly, a guy almost certainly an artist himself, getting on his soapbox and complain about it

And auf Deutsche nonetheless!
posted by Meatbomb at 4:40 AM on June 3


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posted by sammyo at 8:07 AM on June 3


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posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 12:42 AM on June 4




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