Criticizing Christo

A day before Christo’s project “The Gates” opens in Central Park, the critics are already doing, well, what they do. Jed Perl in The New Republic:

If Christo and Jeanne-Claude did not exist, somebody would have to invent them. The husband-and-wife team whose latest project, “The Gates,” opens in New York’s Central Park on Saturday, are the hardworking, irrepressible promoters of a series of avant-garde-meets-pop-culture happenings that sweep people right off their feet. This fusion phenomenon, with its mix of modernist obscurantism and feel-good communalism, is bohemianism for the masses. There isn’t much of anything left once you’ve stripped these fun-with-fabric extravaganzas of all their logistical complexities. But the sheer bravado of Christo and Jeanne-Claude–who have wrapped buildings and coastlines–can pass for visionary power right now, when so many people are unclear as to where cultural experiences end and life-style choices begin. The acres of saffron cloth that Christo and Jeanne-Claude are unfurling across Central Park are a fashion statement, nothing more. It’s public art for the cocooning generation. It’s aestheticism lite.

More here.

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