Their romance was meant to be. They were born on the same day, June 13, 1935. In their 20s they fell in love. She was born to well-to-do French parents. He was a penniless Bulgarian refugee. Her parents disapproved; they said he would never amount to anything. The couple moved to Paris where they fell in love again…this time with the environment and its beauty. Their life’s work in art began.
Christo (who goes by his last name only) and his wife, Jeanne-Claude (who goes by her first name only), believe that no one really owns our land, our waters, and our skies. They want to challenge us to see our world as art, and to see it differently.
The two artists try to show us that art doesn’t have to be permanent. Their projects are temporary. They cannot be bought or sold and nobody can sell tickets.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude accept no sponsors. All projects are completely financed by the sale of their project drawings, prints and scale models.
So how do the artists actually make their art?
Christo and Jeanne-Claude “gently disturb” the environment. They wrap famous landmark bridges and buildings in Europe with effervescent synthetic fabric. They surround small islands in Florida with floating fabric. They install thousands of huge blue and yellow umbrellas in the countryside of Japan and California. They design bright orange silk fabric gates for New York’s Central Park.
Millions of people come to see the things they see everyday. Ah, but now they are different. What was familiar is now changed. They are seen anew!
All projects are dismantled and completely taken down after two weeks.
Christo’s wife and artistic muse, Jeanne-Claude, died in 2009, of a brain aneurysm. But Christo believes her fearless creative spirit will always be with him.
Next project: “Over The River.” It’s a temporary work of art by Christo (and Jeanne-Claude) to suspend 6 miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels high above the Arkansas River along a 42-mile stretch of Southern Colorado.
Captivating Video of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Art!
Click here if unable to view the video.