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Artwork title: The Gates - Project for Central Park, New York City (2001) Year: 2001 Technique: Lithography / Offset Printing Signature: Hand signed by artist Condition: In good condition, small imperfections on the edge, see photos Image size: 82.0 × 61.5 cm Origin of work: Purchased from the publisher Mr. Politeo, who got this pressure from Christo. Mr. Politeo also published in 2020 an edition of images of Christo and Jeanne Claude for the graphics card Homage FG Lorca. According to the publisher, 300 copies have been printed, a limited number of which are signed by Christo, exact number unknown. Christo Vladimirov Javacheff (Bulgarian: born Gabrovo, June 13, 1935 – New York, May 31, 2020), or simply Christo, was a Bulgarian-American architect, sculptor, installation artist, painter and draftsman. He is best known for his 'wrapping art', which was created in close collaboration with his wife, Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon. From 1952 to 1956 Christo studied at the art academy in Sofia. He then studied for a year in Prague. In 1957 he fled to Austria. Here he studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien. After a short time from Vienna he went to Geneva and Paris. In Paris he lived a poor and isolated life as a portrait painter. He was inspired by the works of Joan Miró, Nicolas de Staël, Jackson Pollock, Jean Tinguely and especially Jean Dubuffet. In Paris he had (without joining them) close ties with the nouveau réalistes. In January 1958 he made his first 'wrapping art'. With these first works of art, the packaging material was painted or otherwise processed. From 1959 he left the packaging material unchanged. Dieter Rosenkranz bought some of these first works and introduced Christo to Yves Klein and the art historian Pierre Restany. Christo always worked with his wife from the United States. As artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude considered it important that they are mentioned together. In practice, Jeanne-Claude worked more as the public relations manager and took care of the practical logistics while Christo worked more on the creative process. He signs the preliminary designs that are also sold to finance the projects. All decisions, both creative and logistical, were taken together by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Beyond the artists who bring conceptual art that sticks to a concept, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have actually implemented their ideas. We could call it landscape artwork where the landscape can be both urban and rural. The artistic strategy of Christo and Jeanne-Claude was to temporarily 'dress up' large striking structures or landscapes with fabric. Wrapping buildings or objects leads to the abstraction of these subjects. Examples of this type of work are the Pont Neuf in Paris (1985), the Reichstag in Berlin (1995). They conducted an art project in New York's Central Park in 2001. For Christo and Jeanne-Claude it was very important that the works are accessible to the general public. Usually it takes a lot of persuasion and it takes a long time before a planned project can actually be carried out. They made use of a large group of employees to carry out their projects. The result of their work is purely aesthetic and aims to make people look at the environment 'with different eyes'. Christo and Jeanne-Claude financed the projects, which are very expensive to carry out, only by selling drawings, preliminary designs and earlier work, for example, wrapped objects. They refused any form of sponsorship. Also, all "volunteers" who participated in the projects were paid. 'We sell everything we have, but we don't get anything from it ourselves. In this way we are not accountable to anyone," Jeanne-Claude said at a press conference on the occasion of the opening of the Gates.
Private life In October 1958 Christo met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, whom he married November 28, 1962. May 11, 1960 their son Cyril was born. From February 1964, Christo and Jeanne-Claude lived in the United States. Christo became an American citizen in 1973, Jeanne-Claude followed in 1984, but also kept her French passport. On November 18, 2009, Jeanne-Claude died in a New York hospital. Christo passed away on May 31, 2020 at the age of 84.