Shared Art: Christo 1935-2020

The artist professionally known as Christo passed away on Sunday, May 31, 2020.  He was born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff in Bulgaria, 1935.  He studied briefly at both the Sofia Academy of Fine Arts and the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts but ultimately settled as a mostly self-taught artist.  He met his wife, Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon in 1958 and soon after they began their artistic collaboration.  Until 1994 their artwork was credited only to the name Christo but in later years their work is credited to Christo and Jeanne-Claude. 

View of The Gates art installation in Central Park, New York.  Orange fabric is draped over large open wooden structuresChristo is famous for creating large-scale public art, often environmental art, all of which were self-funded.  Some of his famous works in recent years include The Gates (New York City, 2005), The Floating Piers (Lake Iseo, Italy, 2016), and The London Mastaba (London, UK, 2018).  Long time Florida residents might also remember Surrounded Islands (Miami, 1983) in which eleven islands were surrounded by floating pink fabric.

Fans of his work can keep an eye out for his last planned work with a scheduled opening date, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Paris, France, 2021).  In late September 2021, the Arc de Triomphe will be wrapped in silvery fabric and red ropes. 

A barge of red, pink, blue, and white oil barrels bloats on the Serpentine

Interested in learning more?  Check out these library resources:

Christo and Jeanne-Claude : through the Gates and beyond by Jan Greenberg 

Walking on Water, a documentary film about the creation of The Floating Piers.  

Let's see : writings on art from the New Yorker by Peter Schjeldahl. An art critic shares his opinions on art throughout history.  Includes a chapter on Christo's The Gates.  

Wild Art by David Carrier.  Explore the world of unique alternative art including public art

As well as many other books about contemporary art.  

The eSource, Florida Electronic Library has some resources worth checking out under the Arts and Culture category.  Gale OneFile Fine Arts has articles about a variety of topics including art history.  Google Arts and Culture lets you explore the world and even includes some augmented and virtual reality.

Gather some motivation from Virtual Spring 2020 Teen Art Show and keep an eye out for more virtual art shows in the future.


If all this art inspires you to make your own, check out our eSource, Creativebug, for video walkthroughs of projects for all skill levels.  



The Gates: Morris Pearl

David Hawgood / The Mastaba; massive sculpture, floating in the Serpentine