Christo Jeanne-Claude Surrounded Islands Project for Biscayne Bay Miami Florida
Contemporary Art

The Captivating Creative Partnership of Christo and Jeanne-Claude

By Sotheby's

B orn respectively in Bulgaria and Morocco, Christo and Jeanne-Claude met in Paris in 1958 after Christo escaped from his country of origin. He had previously studied in Vienna, at the Academy of Fine Arts. Together, Christo and Jeanne-Claude formed an emblematic artistic couple: from 1958 until 2009, they imagined, executed and financed monumental projects ranging from the Packages and Wrapped Objects to The Floating Piers.

Christo has continued to realise ambitious projects after the death of Jeanne-Claude in 2009. His work is characterised by impressive, visual and monumental installations, requiring large team efforts, the involvement of many different parties such as volunteers, engineers and lawyers.

"All our work is about freedom...Freedom is the enemy of possession and possession is equal to permanence. This is why our projects cannot remain and must go away forever. Our projects are “one in a lifetime” and “once upon a time”. "

Most of his projects were financed through the sale of the preparatory drawings and collages Christo made in advance. Specifically, the preparatory drawings sold before moving forward with an installation are the only remaining, permanent testimony of his and Jeanne-Claude’s work and vision.

After they met in Germany in the early sixties, Christo and Jeanne-Claude moved to New York City. There, Christo managed to show his work in various galleries including the Castelli Gallery and they both started working and imagining a variety of large-scale projects.

Christo’s work also continues to strongly reflect the couple’s personal convictions and activist stance. In fact, Christo’s work was at times motivated by historical or political decisions, such as the Berlin wall. Throughout their artistic careers, the couple made sure that all monumental projects be free and open to the public.

In 2016, speaking about The Floating Piers he declared: “Like all our projects, The Floating Piers was absolutely free and open to the public. There were no tickets, no openings, no reservations and no owners. The Floating Piers were an extension of the street and belonged to everyone.”

Christo’s work can be seen at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain in Nice, the Cleveland Museum of Art and at theLos Angeles County Museum of Art.

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