The Bulgarian-born Artist Christo Dies at 84

'I am an artist who is totally irrational'

by Rossana Vinci
11

Artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, known as Christo, passed away of natural causes today at his home in New York City. He was 84 years old.

Statement from Christo's office: "Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming up what seemed impossible but realizing it. Christo and Jeanne-Claude's artwork brought people together in shared experiences across the globe, and their work lives on in our hearts and memories. Christo and Jeanne-Claude have always made clear that their artworks in progress be continued after their deaths. Per Christo’s wishes, 'L' Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped' in Paris, France, is still on track for Sept. 18–Oct. 3, 2021."

 


Wolfgang Volz - © 2016 Christo.

 


Christo was born on June 13, 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. He left Bulgaria in 1957, first to Prague, Czechoslovakia, and then escaped to Vienna, Austria, then moved to Geneva, Switzerland. In 1958, Christo went to Paris, where he met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, not only his wife but life partner in the creation of monumental environmental works of art. Jeanne-Claude passed away on November 18, 2009. Christo lived in New York City for 56 years.


Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon | © Christo.

 


From early wrapped objects to monumental outdoor projects, Christo and Jeanne-Claude's artwork transcended the traditional bounds of painting, sculpture and architecture. Some of their work included Wrapped Coast in Australia (1968–69), Valley Curtain in Colorado (1970–72), Running Fencein California (1972–76), Surrounded Islands in Miami (1980–83), The Pont Neuf Wrapped in Paris (1975–85), The Umbrellas in Japan and California (1984–91), Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin (1972–95), The Gates in New York’s Central Park (1979–2005), The Floating Piers at Italy's Lake Iseo (2014–16), and The London Mastaba on London's Serpentine Lake (2016–18).


Christo in his studio with a preparatory drawing for The Mastaba, 2012, Wolfgang Volz, © 2012 Christo.

 


Christo's temporary work of art in Paris, France, titled L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris), is scheduled for Sept. 18–Oct. 3, 2021. Additionally, a major exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou about Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work and time in Paris will be on view this year, from July 1–Oct. 19, 2020.

In a 1958 letter Christo wrote, 'Beauty, science and art will always triumph.' We hold those words closely today.

The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, 2016-18 | Wolfgang Volz - © 2018 Christo.

 

 

Source: Official statement from Christo's office.

Cover photo: © Christo

 

 

 

 

 

Comments
  • Nasser Rugs

    His environmental art was very impressive.

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References
L' Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped 14

L' Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped

Paris / France / 2019

The Floating Piers 257

The Floating Piers

Sulzano / Italy / 2016

The London Mastaba 12

The London Mastaba

City of London / United Kingdom / 2018