Christo was born in 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgary. He is an environmental artist known for his outdoor sculptures and displays made of fabrics and plastics. Christo attended the National Academy of Art in Sofia, and after a working period in Prague, he studied for a semester in Vienna at the Academy of Fine Art.
After a brief stay in Geneva, he moved to Paris in 1958 where he met Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009). In the same year, he began working on packages and wrapped objects. In 1961, they started working together creating their first installation Stacked Oil Barrels and Dockside Packages in the harbor of Cologne. In 1964, they relocated to New York City.
The creative partnership of Christo and Jeanne-Claude yielded a series of awe-inspiring projects that left an indelible mark on the world of art and the environment. Some of their most iconic installations include the “Valley Curtain” in 1972, gracing the landscape of Rifle Gap, Colorado, and the expansive “Running Fence” in 1976, which stretched across Marin and Sonoma counties in California. In 1983, they adorned Biscayne Bay, Florida, with “Surrounded Islands,” followed by the monumental “Pont Neuf” in 1985, which transformed Paris, France. Their global reach continued with “Blue Umbrellas” and “Yellow Umbrellas” in 1991, which adorned the Sato River valley in Japan and the Tejon Pass in California, respectively.
One of their most celebrated endeavors was the “Wrapped Reichstag” in 1995, a monumental transformation of the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany. This project captured the imagination of the world and symbolized the power of art to reshape not only landscapes but also perceptions. Over the years, they continued to push artistic boundaries with projects like “The Gates,” a 26-year-long endeavor in Central Park, New York City, which was completed in 2005. Their ambition culminated in “The Floating Piers” in 2016, an ephemeral masterpiece on Lake Iseo, Italy, and their final major work, “Mastaba,” in 2018, which graced the London, UK landscape.
Christo died in New York on May 2020.