The destiny of Christo Javachev and Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon was perhaps already written in their date of birth, the two artists – although one in Bulgaria and the other in France – were both born on June 13, 1935. It will be the case to cross their paths and from that meeting, which took place in ’58, will be born, beyond a relationship, the most stunning contemporary duo of artists, known simply as Christo.
The duo Christo began to create his works in Paris, where it immediately became part of the artistic current of the Nouveau Réalisme, thanks to the Objets Emballé, or objects of daily use wrapped with cloth and thread.
This theme is inspired by the emblematic work of Man Ray L’Enigme d’Isidore Ducasse: an object with an indefinite shape, covered and wrapped. This work has become one of the symbols of Dadaism, introducing the element of the unknown into art history.
It is precisely the thought of presenting a hidden work that fascinates Christo, which replicates the concept not only on objects but also on monuments or landscapes. From the Statue of Victor Emmanuel II in Piazza Duomo in Milan to the Roman Walls in Rome, from an entire beach to the Pont-Neuf in Paris, there are many monuments that, over the years, have been packaged by Christo.
Paradoxically, in so doing Christo transforms an existing work of art into a work of art, hiding it from the public and, in this way, reborn a sort of curiosity about it.
If you’ve never come across one of its wrapped monuments, don’t despair because exactly one year from now, from 19 September to 4 October 2020, the Arc de Triomphe will be perfectly wrapped. Christo has been working on this project since 1962 and 2020 has proved to be the right year to realize it.
“Thirty-five years after Jeanne-Claude and I wrapped the Pont-Neuf, I am eager to work in Paris again to realize our project for the Arc de Triomphe.”
To get an idea of the final result, the same duo published photographs of the preparatory sketches and projects, if I were you I would already book a weekend in Paris for next year.