Thursday, June 30, 2011

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Our June artists are Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

They are contemporary artists who met and married and worked as a team until Jeanne-Claude’s death on November 18, 2009. They met in Paris, France in October 1958.

They both were born on the same day - June 13, 1935.
Christo Vladimirov Javacheff was born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. Jeanne Claude Denat de Guillebon was born in Casablanca, Morocco to French parents. They decided to just use their first names as artists.

I guess you would say they were environmental artists. They lived in New York City for many years of their lives. They are considered American artists. They wrapped things. That is the best way I can describe most of their work. By things, I mean motorcycles, buildings, bridges, islands, etc. They did large installations in public places that took years to plan, finance, and construct. After a short period of time then their art is gone.

Think about everything involved in planning an art piece of this nature. First you should know that they don’t accept sponsorships for their projects. So they raise all the money themselves selling sketches, souvenirs, etc. To give you an idea of the scope of their work consider the following. They created “The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005.” It cost $21 million to construct 7, 503 saffron colored fabric gates in Central Park in N.Y.C. It took from 1979 to 2005 to raise the funds, get the workers necessary, get the correct permits, build the exhibit, etc. The project was up from Feb. 12th to the 27th in 2005. Then it was taken down.

We only have sketches, pictures, or videos of their work.

What do you think? Could we make a similar project at school? What could we wrap? Christo and Jeanne-Claude wanted the viewer to have a new way of seeing a familiar landscape. Do you think they succeeded?

Click here to see a short video of several of their projects.


Yutka said...

I don't see any purpose to christos's extravaganza. Why did he (they) not do anything inspiring and helpful to others?
Waste of talents, sadly.

BabyZen said...

I think their work is brilliant, monumental. Taking a very familiar environment that most people take for granted daily and "do something" with it brings it out for people running around too busy to look at the beauty of it. It makes them STOP, look. I lived in Miami when the did the pink islands project. It had an impact on me for the rest of my life.