June 13, On This Day
Remember last year, when the Arc de Triomphe in Paris was wrapped up in gigantic swathes of silver and blue, giving way to a flamboyant project that no one had quite envisioned could happen?
That was the vision of artist pair Christo and Jeanne-Claude — or Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon.
Both born on June 13, 1935, it was as if they were made for each other, and are noted all around the world for their large-scale, site-specific environmental installations.
Such projects have also been undertaken at the Pont Neuf in Paris, the Reichstag in Berlin, The Gates in New York City’s Central Park, and in innumerable other locations across the world. They developed consistent, longtime terms of their collaboration to create ephemeral, large-scale works. Besides fabric, they have also used polythene structures, including even oil barrels, to build their installations.
Interestingly, they usually flew in separate planes such that, in case one crashed, the other could continue their work.
Last year’s project was carried out entirely posthumously, after Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009 and Christo in 2020.