Christo & Jean-Claude

 

The avant-garde artist Christo was born on June 13, 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria as Christo Vladimirov Javacheff. Working with his wife and creative partner, Jeanne-Claude, they created some of the most spectacular large-scale artworks of the 20th century. 

 

Together they wrapped in fabric the Reichstag building in Berlin (1995) and the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris (1985), built a 25-mile fabric fence across Northern California (1975), and strung a huge orange curtain across a Colorado valley (1972). 

 

Christo studied fine arts in Sofia and Vienna before moving to Paris in 1958. There he met Jeanne-Claude, who became his muse and partner in exotic art. They married in 1962, moved to New York in 1964 and began making the ever-larger "environmental" artworks for which Christo became famous: wrapped fountains, bridges, buildings, and other public spaces. His career (to date) culminated with "The Gates," which placed 7500 vinyl gates, with free-flowing orange nylon fabric panels, across 23 miles of Central Park walkways for 16 days in 2005. Considering himself a pure artist, Christo refused all sponsorship and corporate money and raised the millions needed to execute his artworks by selling sketches, designs, and models of his proposed projects.

 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude were born on the exact same day: 13 June 1935. They were married in 1962 and had one son, Cyril, who was born in 1960. Jean-Claude died in 2009.