Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Dream Team.

Image from Dr Curry.

Chris and I often talk of becoming the next power art husband and wife team. Okay, we delude ourselves over margaritas, but it's still a fun conversation.

Last week, the world lost one half of the world's most prolific art couples, Jeanne-Claude, the woman with the orange-dyed hair and Christo's wife. The duo, having worked together for nearly 50 years, was most well known for their environmental works. From wrapping the coast of Little Bay in Australia to creating a 24 mile fabric fence that spanned from Sonoma County to the Pacific Ocean to wrapping the Reichstag in Berlin, their work is unique in that it lasts only for a brief period of time. Of this Christo said:
Do you know that I don't have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they're finished. Only the preparatory drawings, and collages are left, giving my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.

Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art (1968-69)

Running Fence, California (1972-76)

Reichstag, Berlin (1971-95)

Rifle, Colorado (1970-72)

Little Bay, Australia (1968-69)
Images from the New York Times.

There has been much controversy about their work. Critics equally lauded and denounced The Gates in Central Park. But regardless of its aesthetic value, there is something about their work that does indeed represent courage. Artists aren't great because they make things that are particularly hard to make. Artists are great because they make things that are hard to think. They don't know the word can't.

An artist's mind constantly astounds me. There is nothing that Chris thinks is impossible. Any time he presents me with an idea, my mind starts a running list of the logistics required to make it work. This is why I'm not an artist. I instantly see the hurdles. Chris just sees the finish line. But who knows, maybe together we will make something great.


  1. Oops! I hope I didn't offend you with my post on Friday. Well written entry (yours), however. I do admire modern art/artists for their courage, of course. And I find most of it very eye appealing and beautiful. I'm just a bit pickled as to purpose sometimes. But that's why I am also not an artist - I wish I were. I was brought up in functionality as a product designer, and as a result can be a little one sided...
    But we still agree on lots (such as typography, oh yes!), so I hope you don't hate me :)

  2. Do you know that one the latest Christo/Jeanne-Claude pieces is a proposal to drape fabric on large segments of the Arkansas River in Southwestern Colorado? A piece to be titled "Over the River"? Most of the proposal area corresponds to YOUR public lands, managed by the Bureau of Land Management (of which yours truly is in employ). The proposal is undergoing environmental reivew and is receiving a lot of interest by supporters and non-supporters alike:

    PS, Anonymous is LeahB


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