Christo (Bulgarian, 1935-2020)

Christo is one half of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the artists behind the creation of monumental environmental works of art around the world. Christo Vladimirov Javacheff left Bulgaria in 1956, and a few years later he met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, his wife and artistic partner, in Paris. Afterwards, he lived in New York for 56 years. In their partnership, they imagined projects together, and then Christo would create sketches and preparatory works that were sold to fund the installation.

The work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, which commonly took the form of wrapped monuments, transcended the bounds of painting, sculpture, and architecture. Some of their projects since the late 1960s include Wrapped Coast near Sydney, Running Fence in California, The Pont Neuf Wrapped in Paris, Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin, and The Gates in New York’s Central Park. Their artistic process involved decades of careful preparation of technical solutions, political negotiation, permits, and hearings. Christo and Jeanne-Claude looked at their work as aesthetically pleasing changes to the built environment.