ALL ART IS CONTEMPORARY #3
“The work of art is a scream of freedom”. These are words of Christo, the contemporary genius who, along with late wife Jeanne-Claude, enchanted (and still enchants) the whole world, not only art’s cosmos.
Through a duo that lasted for over 40 years, a duo that’s still present in a trascendental manner, Christo wraps monuments, splits lands, surrounds islands. His art is full-scale, global, all-out, whose only purpose is to give “joy and beauty”, the most independent art possible, that wants to fly but facing reality is grounded to earth by missing authorizations and legal hurdles. His last masterpiece, The Gates in Central Park, needed 26 years for its actual realization…to only 14 days of actual exhibition, the norm for all of his works.
Works like The Umbrellas, Running Fence and Wrapped Reichstag required years and years of theoretical study, court battles and several millions of dollars to be fulfilled, in the face of a very limited display.
So…why operate like that? And especially…whence springs the charm of works that seem so transient?
Christo with his art entirely recreates new landscapes, in an apparently destructive act (with “limited time”)
that actually generates very strong emotions inside of the spectator. New environments in which he wants us to believe (with always a positive meaning) that what’s inside the wrapping actually never existed, only to promptly bring us back to reality.
The monument, the bridge, the building “exists”, but he, removing them from our view, wants to emphasize the void left by their “non-existence”. Using his words, the presence of the missing.
Christo and his wife always funded their works by selling sketches and drawings, becoming totally independent from commissions and external funding. The materials used are removed and then recycled. It seems that it’ll remain only the remembrance of their mobile installations. Thus, which heritage do you think they have left to us? A “gentle disturbance” or something extraordinarily ineffable?