Christo and Jeanne-Claude Discuss 'Over the River'

By Jancsurak, Joe | Art Business News, September 2006 | Go to article overview

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Discuss 'Over the River'


Jancsurak, Joe, Art Business News


CLEVELAND -- Arguably the world's most recognizable and renowned art couple, Christo and Jean-Claude, recently addressed an audience of nearly 1,300 adults and students to discuss their world-famous outdoor art installations and to display a sense of humor that is uniquely theirs.

After being greeted with appreciative applause, Jeanne-Claude, who did much of the talking, told the audience that she and her husband were planning to discuss their next project as well as past projects and would then answer all questions--"but no questions about religion and politics, and no questions about other artists."

At one point, Jeanne-Claude, was invited to make a prediction about this season's "American Idol." Though she admitted to never watching the television show, she said she knows this much, "More Americans vote for their 'American Idol' than they do their own president," which drew a laugh from the crowd.

The artists are well known in the United States for their last project, "The Gates," a 23-mile long, saffron-colored (not unlike the color of Jeanne-Claude's hair), nylon-paneled installation that for two weeks last year captivated tourists and locals alike in New York's Central Park.

But "The Gates" is only one of 19 large-scale projects that the couple has successfully installed throughout the world. Others have included wrapping the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont Neuf in Paris. And 42 other projects never made it off the drawing board because they were unable to win approval from the necessary property owners, government agencies and public officials.

Their next project, "Over the River," will result in the draping of 7 miles of the Arkansas River in Colorado with translucent fabric in segments over a 40-mile stretch, for which the couple has already invested $500,000 on the environmental impact studies being produced by government workers. …

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