The Arc de Triomphe in Paris completely wrapped up

“Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021”

This has been the 60-year-old dream of the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude who had previously wrapped other structures like the Reichstag in Berlin. Place de l’Étoile will be closed to vehicular traffic on the weekend for pedestrians to enjoy the work of art.

“It will be like a living object that will move in the wind and reflect the light. With its moving folds, the monument’s surface will become sensual. People will want to touch the Arc de Triomphe.” – Christo and Jeanne-Claude

A reader told us this: So, I have had a journey with this guy. I am not an art person other than the art museum visit when I visit a new big city. I had seen reports about Christo’s work on CBS Sunday morning and had the same thought “Jeez, what an asshole. He puts some plastic around an island or a sheet over a building and suddenly is an ‘artist'” Any time I heard his name mentioned in the news or online I would think it again.

Then I moved to NYC. I lived not far from Central Park and walked through it to work in Midtown every day. It was my backyard and my favorite part of my favorite city. Right before I was to move away from NYC I heard that Christo was going to do some weird gate-thing-art-whatnot project in Central Park. I was annoyed because I thought it was going to ruin my final weeks in the city.

When the gates started going up I was even more annoyed. These dumb curtains were ugly and stupid. They were under construction for a couple of weeks then unfurled all at once.

Well, I was wrong. My wife and I spent every available minute in the park, walking the paths in the freezing cold February. The curtains moved so beautifully when the breeze blew. The color of the objects completely transformed the winter scene of the park. Walking through our familiar pathways was a completely new experience.

I don’t understand what the art meant, or what it was in context, but I know how it made me feel. Thinking of it now I am getting goosebumps remembering walking through the park those last couple of weeks.

Since he is dead its a bummer to say “You had to be there” but I wonder if you do have to be there.


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