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Don't Forget to Close The Gates

It could not have been a more beautiful day on Saturday for the unveiling of the long-awaited project of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, known as The Gates. Thousands showed up throughout the day to take it all in. There were joggers, strollers (many of the kind with babies in them), police on horseback, helicopters circling above, and so much fur I fear the forests will be very quiet this spring.

I had several Christo and Jeanne-Claude sightings as they were chauffeured around the park in a Maybach Benz (nice wheels) by police. I get nervous when I have a small gallery opening of my paintings, but this event would have me in a coma. The logistics from conception to execution are immense, and that dosen't include the $20 million fundraising. Whether you are a fan or not, their tenacity is impressive.


Photographs of The Gates by Mark Barry (February 12)

James Wagner on The Gates (February 13)

Michael Kimmelman, In a Saffron Ribbon, a Billowy Gift to the City (New York Times, February 13)

James Barron, Dressing Up in Orange, and Pleats (New York Times, February 13)

Web Feature on The Gates (New York Times)

Selection of photographs (New York Times) and another one from the BBC

Video of the Unveiling (New York Times, February 13)

Blake Gopnik, Christo's Gates: A Little Creaky (Washington Post, February 13)

Corine Lesnes, Christo emballe Central Park, moins les New-Yorkais (Le Monde, February 15)

So much has been said already about this project, good and nasty. As the morning progressed and more and more of the banners were unfolded, I felt part of a "happening." This isn't a complicated theoretical work; it just is. The park was filled with more smiling New Yorkers than I have ever seen. It worked.

The sound of the day: cardboard tubes hitting the ground as the velcro was stripped away, allowing the banner to drop and come to life in the wind. Feeling: I felt like I was in Japan, maybe if the mounted cops were in Samurai get-ups. For a folio of the day go here. One of the nicest parts of the day was meeting up with fellow bloggers Libby and Roberta of Artblog, the Queens of the Philadelphia art scene no less.

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