The artist Christo, born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff in Bulgaria, well known for his career of large-scale public artworks, has died aged 84 of natural causes at his home in New York.
“I make things that have no function , except maybe to make pleasure,” Christo told media in 2018. Christo and his wife and artistic partner Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon covered barrels at the Port of Cologne in 1961, barricaded a street in Paris with oil barrels (workart Called Rideau de Fer - Iron Curtain). They created many large-scale works which often involved swathing vast natural monuments in fabric. They shrouded the coast and cliffs of Little Bay in Sydney, Australia, in grey fabric, to create what was the largest single artwork of the time. Then, in 1972 they made Valley Curtain, erecting an 14,000-metre orange curtain across Rifle Gap, a canyon in Colorado.
The Reichstag wrapped
He always refused any sponsorship. They were able to pull off projects including surrounding 11 islands in Miami’s Biscayne Bay with bright-pink floating polypropylene fabric, and wrapping Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris. The Floating Piers at Italy’s Lake Iseo, the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park and the facade of the Reichstag were other places to receive their artwork. A planned work, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, will be made posthumously, in accordance with both artists’ wishes. Christo’s workart generated big money from tourism.