Christo devised a new artistic genre known as “wiping the canvas” and among his most prominent works in this area was the Bonn Nove Bridge in Paris with fabric (1985) and the Reichstag Building in Berlin (1995).
The tall, white-haired Christo died of “natural causes on May 31, 2020, at his home in New York,” according to a message his aides broadcast on his Facebook page.
Some figures may give an idea of the scope of his work. He needed $ 26 million to install huge umbrellas in California and Japan and for 26 years to obtain permission to place thousands of gates in New York and needed 650,000 square meters of fabric to surround small islands in Florida while five million people came. To see the seat of the German Parliament cloth-coated.
The adventure began in 1958, when Bulgarian Christo Vladimirov Yavachev met the French artist, Jean-Claude Dona de Gibbons, who shares the same date of birth. They were married after that.
Christo King (AFP).
In future art projects between them, Christo took on the most technical side, while she was more concerned with organization. “This is not the work of Christo, it is the work of Christo and Jean-Claude,” said this short, powerful woman. The couple acquired American citizenship and had a son. Jean-Claude died in 2009.
In order to finance their projects and maintain their independence, the couple was selling at high prices the preparatory work for these art installations.
Their facility was passing for a few days. The artist used to say: “No one can buy or market these works, and no one can sell cards to see them. Our work talks about freedom.”
Since the death of Jean-Claude, Christo in 2016 has been distinguished by a floating bridge surrounded by fabric on an Italian lake and a terrace set up in London consisting of 7506 sheets with a capacity of 200 liters stacked in the form of an oblique square.
He was preparing for the Arc de Triomphe packaging project in Paris next September, but the project was postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
His aides confirmed on Facebook that this project is “still on the track” for the period from September 18 to October 3, 2021.
A show dedicated to the duo was also postponed at the Pompidou Center in the French capital as well, after it was scheduled for mid-March.
Christo was born on June 13, 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria and fled this country in 1956 on a freight train to escape the Communist regime and Soviet realism that was taught at the Institute of Fine Arts in Sofia.
In Paris, the young man mixed with new realists such as Yves Klein and Nikki de Saint-Val and learned abstract painting.
The artist was angry at the construction of the Berlin Wall, and in 1962 he drilled oil barrels on Saint-Germain-des-Pres in the French capital in his first remarkable work. In 1968, the artistic duo wrapped a monument for the first time, and they chose the Kunzalle Art Gallery in Bern, Switzerland.
“Every work is a journey,” said the artist, who was anxious to delve deeper into the meaning of their work. Their work in the Reichstag needed a vote from the German deputies. It was supported by 292 deputies and 223 opposed.
Christo King (AFP).
Regarding the Mastaba facility in Hyde Park in London, Christo pointed out, “There is no message that I send through this work, so every interpretation is legitimate, whether negative or positive.”
“For fifty years, 37 of our actions were rejected and only 22 were approved,” Christo explained in 2010, and he was refusing to board the plane itself with his wife for fear that the crash would lead to the suspension of preparations for a project.
And their work was not always easy. In 1972, they built a curtain 120 meters high and 400 meters wide in Colorado, in the middle of a valley. Except that the wind torn. But they succeeded in the second attempt.
In 1991 a giant umbrella fell on an American citizen, while a Japanese worker died during the process of removing these umbrellas.
Christo was ridiculed by some critics. From Paris to New York, some criticized “this artist who resorts to mountaineering services” (he needed 90 of them to cover the Reichstag building). But the audience did not hesitate to come in large numbers to see his remarkable works.
And his aides said in their message: “Christo lived his life with momentum not only by conceiving the impossible but also by achieving it. The works of Christo and Jean-Claude gathered people in experiences that were shared throughout the world and their work will continue in our hearts and memories.”
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