Viewfinder ; the Central Park Landscape - Bracketed by Christo and Jeanne- Claude's 'Gates,' Takes on Vibrant Color and Verve

By Robert Tuttle Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, February 18, 2005 | Go to article overview

Viewfinder ; the Central Park Landscape - Bracketed by Christo and Jeanne- Claude's 'Gates,' Takes on Vibrant Color and Verve


Robert Tuttle Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Reactions from New Yorkers and visitors to "The Gates" project in Central Park run the gamut from joy to ambivalence, apathy to mild disapproval. The artists - Christo and Jeanne-Claude - have indicated they welcome every response; the interpretation of the 7,500 saffron-colored banners in the park is left completely up to viewers. As is true with other works of contemporary art, people get out of it what they bring to it.

"It's like a gift," says New Yorker Stuart Bridgett. "It's like someone came along and dressed the park up for you." Next to him, Krissa, his wife, is equally impressed. "I think they're beautiful," she says of the 16-foot-high stands adorned with bright saffron panels. "The simplicity is really cool."

Sabrina Jones, an artist from Brooklyn, disagrees. "I don't really like orange," she says. "[It] is the color of alarm, like the cones they put out [on the street]."

For Robert Huebner from Philadelphia, "The Gates" elegantly blend in with the natural environment. "I wish I could see it from above," he says while on a stroll. …

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