I went up to NYC over the weekend on a lightening strike art viewing adventure. I was in the city less than 24 hours, and slept for seven of those hours. But I did go to the Gates with my friend Julee, and had great weather for it-- chilly, but blazing sunlight, all the better to bring out the array of oranges.
There's been quite a lot of discussion about whether or not it was a huge waste of money or a silly stunt or art. As far as I'm concerned, Christo and Jeanne-Claude raised the money themselves, so if it's a waste of money, shrug. Look, every day someone spends money on buying a Hummer, and unwieldy vehicle that gets 12 miles to the gallon, is a beast to park, and benefits no one and nothing, except perhaps the poor ego of the person who feels the need to conspicuously consume. Buying a Hummer is a waste of money. Please complain about that first.
I haven't liked all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's stuff- the wrapping of the Reichtstag... not so much. But Fence I think was quite beautiful. And the one with the umbrellas. This was the first time I was able to experience one of their pieces rather than just looking at photographs of them. Was it the most profound thing I've ever experienced? Oh for Chrissakes, people, of course not. But it was, to quote Julee, lovely.
The color shifts as the fabric moved in the wind were mesmerizing. The contrasts between the orange fabric, the gray trees, and the blue sky were spectacular at moments. The snap of the fabric in the wind must have been wonderful on less crowded days. (It was a complete zoo, being the last day it was up).
Well worth the trip. I'm posting some photos I took of the installation at left. You can see more by clicking on the icon at the bottom.