The Impact of Art

According to CNN, Christo’s The Gates has opened in New York City. In this project, Christo and his wife, Jean-Claude, created a series of saffron-colored fabric gates throughout New York’s Central Park. It is ephemeral art: after a certain period of time, it will be dismantled, and the only memory will be in peoples minds and photographs. You can find more information here. Christo has done stuff like this before, covering Germany’s Reichstag in silver fabric, among other things.

This brings back memories of a similar project here in Los Angeles. Back in 1991, Christo did a project called “The Umbrellas“. In this project, Christo & Jeanne-Claude erected 1760 yellow umbrellas on the hills near I-5 near Gorman CA, and at the same time erected a similar number of blue umbrellas in Japan, for a total of 3100 umbrellas. They were opened on October 9, and removed on October 27.

When I first heard of this project, I thought it was silly. C’mon, umbrellas?!?! But then I drove up to Gorman to see the US installation. There were all these yellow umbrellas, like golden poppies, covering the hills. It was breathtaking. I recall that we had lunch at Okie Girl restaurant in Lebec (which no longer exists). But the umbrellas still exist in my mind.

I guess this is what good art does. If you live in New York, go see The Gates while it is up.