Christo

Artist

Born: 13 June 1935
Birthplace: Gabrovo, Bulgaria
Best known as: The artist who wrapped the Reichstag with fabric in 1995

Name at birth: Christo Vladimirov Javacheff

The avant-garde artist Christo created some of the most spectacular large-scale public artworks of the 20th century. Working with his wife and creative partner, Jeanne-Claude, he wrapped in fabric the Reichstag building in Berlin (1995) and the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris (1985), built a 25-mile fabric fence across Northern California (1975), and strung a huge orange curtain across a Colorado valley (1972). Christo was born in Bulgaria and studied fine arts in Sofia and Vienna before moving to Paris in 1958. There he met Jeanne-Claude, who became his muse and partner in exotic art. They married in 1962, moved to New York in 1964 and began making the ever-larger "environmental" artworks for which Christo became famous: wrapped fountains, bridges, buildings, and other public spaces. His fame blossomed with "The Gates," which placed 7500 vinyl gates, with free-flowing orange nylon fabric panels, across 23 miles of Central Park walkways for 16 days in 2005. In 2016 he unveiled The Floating Piers -- 100,000 square meters of long, floating walkways from the mainland of Italy to the small islands of Monte Isola and San Paolo on Lake Iseo. Open to the public for free, the project cost nearly $17 million and was forty years in the making. Considering himself a pure artist, Christo refused all sponsorship and corporate money and raised the millions needed to execute his artworks by selling sketches, designs, and models of his proposed projects.
Extra credit:

Christo and Jeanne-Claude were born on the exact same day: 13 June 1935. She died in 2009… They were married in 1962 and had one son, Cyril, who was born in 1960.

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