Christo is a famous Bulgarian Painter and installation artist. He is known as Christo but he is doing all his art with his wife Jeanne-Claude. The essence of his art is modifying the way people perceive particular space. Christo has been doing many material interventions in everyday public spaces. Christo and Jeanne-Claude's environmental projects involve elements of architecture, sculpture, painting and urban planning. Some of their most significant works of art are the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin, the Pont Neuf Bridge in Paris, the Gates in Central Park, Ney York City, the Surrounded Islands in Miami, Florida, and the Running Fence in Marin and Sonoma Counties, California.
Christo, Hristo Yavashev, was born on June 13, 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. From 1953 to 1956 Christo was studying at the Fine Arts Academy in Sofia but did not like the communist situation in Bulgaria at that time, which was the main reason for him to escape to Vienna. He enrolls in the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts but stays there for only one semester. In 1958, already in Paris, he did his first piece of installation art, he wrapped an empty paint tin. Years after that Christo comments that he can not think of a reason for creating his first wrapped art. From this moment, Christo, together with Jeanne-Claude, started has started to make the world more beautiful place with his non-standard art, traveling around the world to develop his aesthetic ideas.
The Surrounded Islans, Miami, Florida, 1983
On May 7, 1983 the installation of Surrounded Islands was completed. In Biscayne Bay, between the city of Miami, North Miami, the Village of Miami Shores and Miami Beach, 11 of the islands situated in the area of Bakers Haulover Cut, Broad Causeway, 79th Street Causeway, Julia Tuttle Causeway, and Venetian Causeway were surrounded with 585,000 square meters (6.5 million square feet) of pink woven polypropylene fabric covering the surface of the water, floating and extending out 61 meters (200 feet) from each island into the Bay. The fabric was sewn into 79 patterns to follow the contours of the 11 islands. For 2 weeks Surrounded Islands spreading over 11.3 kilometers (7 miles) was seen, approached and enjoyed by the public, from the causeways, the land, the water and the air. The luminous pink color of the shiny fabric was in harmony with the tropical vegetation of the uninhabited verdant island, the light of the Miami sky and the colors of the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay.
Pont Neuf Wrapped, 1985
It took Christo and Jeanne-Caude nine years of negotiations with Jaques Chirac and the mayor of Paris to receive permission for veiling the historical bridge. On September 22, 1985, a group of 300 professional workers completed the temporary work of art The Pont Neuf Wrapped. They had deployed 40,876 square meters (454,178 square feet) of woven polyamide fabric, silky in appearance and golden sandstone in color, covering: the sides and vaults of the twelve arches, without hindering river traffic; the parapets down to the ground; he sidewalks and curbs (pedestrians walked on the fabric); all the street lamps on both sides of the bridge; the vertical part of the embankment of the western tip of the Ile de la Cit; the esplanade of the "Vert-Galant".
The Wrapped Reichstag, 1995
After a struggle spanning through the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties, the wrapping of the Reichstag was completed on June 24th, 1995 by a work force of 90 professional climbers and 120 installation workers. The Reichstag remained wrapped for 14 days and all materials were recycled. Ten companies in Germany started in September 1994 to manufacture all the various materials according to the specifications of the engineers. During the months of April, May and June 1995, iron workers installed the steel structures on the towers, the roof, the statues and the stone vases to allow the folds of fabric to cascade from the roof down to the ground. For a period of two weeks, the richness of the silvery fabric, shaped by the blue ropes, created a sumptuous flow of vertical folds highlighting the features and proportions of the imposing structure, revealing the essence of the Reichstag. The project was visited by 5 million people
The Gates in Central Park, Ney York City, 2005
After Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, announced, on January 22, 2003, that a 43-page contract had been signed permitting New York artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude to realize their temporary work of art: The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005, the fabrication of all the materials was started. The installation, at the site in Central Park, was completed with the blooming of the 7,503 fabric panels on February 12, 2005. In teams of eight, 600 workers wearing The Gates uniforms were responsible for installing 100 gates per team. The monitoring and removal teams included an additional 300 uniformed workers. The monitors assisted the public, answering questions and distributing 1-million free fabric samples. All workers were financially compensated and received breakfast in the morning, and one hot meal a day. Professional security worked in the park after dark. For those who walked through The Gates, following the walkways, the saffron-colored fabric was a golden ceiling creating warm shadows. When seen from the buildings surrounding Central Park, The Gates seemed like a golden river appearing and disappearing through the bare branches of the trees and highlighting the shape of the meandering footpaths.