Christo

Have just been to a talk by Christo:  not just a talk, but an event, performance and peroration.    He spoke a bit about his life – actually not quite enough:  born in Bulgaria, escaped from Prague, educated at the Academy of Fine Arts (as an artist or as an architect ?) in Vienna, moving to Paris and then to New York in 1964 where he has lived in the same tenement block ever since, using the small studio at the top of the building, doing all the work on his projects with his wife Jeanne Claude and without a big office of assistants.   He showed images of many of his projects – the Valley Curtain in Colorado, the Running Fence in California, the wrapping of the Reichstag and of the Pont Neuf.   It’s completely obvious that he likes the process and politics of the gestation at least as much as the finished result.   What wasn’t entirely clear is how he uses the process of drawing which he does after the project has been conceived in order to support it financially.   There was a quality of enthusiastic innocence about his presentation which has won over audiences internationally, including most recently in Abu Dhabi where he is building up community support for a project in the desert.   So, the question nobody asked is why he’s never done anything in Britain: umbrellas in the Lake District ? wrapping the Royal Academy?

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