round and round...

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Public Art

The Gates - if you haven't heard by now, is a huge public art project by Christo and Jeanne-Claude installed in Central Park here in New York. It cost more than $20 million to create, which seems like a paltry pennance compared with the more than 25 years the husband-wife artist team took to fully visualize and plan their creation. The pair took no sponsorship for the project, all funds were raised independently and the city of New York didn't pay for a dime of it... but the city is walking away with a huge paycheck. All proceeds from the sale of merchandise related to The Gates will be donated to the Park - talk about the power of art (and people wonder "what good does art really do, anyway").

I took this picture last Saturday. I love the color of the fabric and the texture. The photo doesn't do it justice. Saffron - what a gorgeous name for such a savory color. The rip-stop fabric caught the sunlight and created this sparkling grid fluttering in the wind above me. People say that art effects them in many ways, and this piece really took hold of me that morning. It was cold, below freezing, and the puffs of hot breath that wafted up from my lips as I looked at the material floating above made a kind of steamy curtain that I peered through. It was quite a morning. I was lucky enough to have great company and beautiful weather that day. It really lived up to all that I looked forward to in the months leading up to the installation. I'm glad to have not been disappointed in the way that only an over-hyped spectacle can disappoint. It was beautiful and I feel lucky to live here in the time that it was here. They start the disassembly tomorrow morning and then it will be gone as quickly as it came. Christo and Jeanne-Claude will move on to the next project and New York will move on to the next big topic of public conversation. I'm sure something very important like politics or hemlines will be on the radar screen soon.
Posted by Hello

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