Christo und Jeanne-Claude
Anything is possible.
40 years of craze for huge and spectacular art: "The Running Fence", "The Gates" or "Wrapped Reichstag" - Christo & Jeanne-Claude always presented projects with almost unimaginable dimensions and attracted millions of spectators every time.
Each of their installations or wrapping projects required an effort that is only made for large-scale state projects. With a tenacity, almost obsession, and organised like a medium-sized company, Christo & Jeanne-Claude negotiated with authorities, companies, engineers and technicians. Time? Space? Patience? Money? All relative: "The Gates" in Central Park stretched over 37 kilometres, cost 21 million dollars and took 26 years from idea to realisation. "The Wrapped Reichstag" took 24 years to complete and the 40 kilometres of "The Running Fence" cost over 3 million dollars – by the way, all financed exclusively by the sale of drawings, models and photos.
Christo put it in a nutshell: "Many people think of us as sculptors or painters. But our work has much more to do with architecture, urban planning and logistics." He could not imagine working exclusively in the studio: "The most important thing is the visual experience, a celebration of space and the people in space. All my work is about the experience of space. That's why we went out of the studio with our art. We rent public space and conquer it for art."
Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude Marie Denat were both born on 13 June 1935 but he in Gabrovo, Bulgaria and she in Casablanca. Jeanne-Claude studied Latin and philosophy at the University of Tunis, Christo studied at the Sofia Academy of Fine Arts. They met in Paris in 1958 and married in 1962. In 2009, Jeanne-Claude died from complications due to a brain aneurysm. Christo lived and worked in New York until his death in 2020.