Forty years ago, when Christo (Vladimirov Javacheff) lived in Paris (between 1958 and 1964), he first thought of wrapping the Arc de Triomphe. The actual planning began in 2018. Initially slated to run in April 2020, the work was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Christo won't see it; he died on May 31, 2020, at age 84.
On the day of his death, the TV station France 24 announced that the project in Paris will continue - in accordance with Christo's wishes. On Sunday in a week, the event will take place. The work will be unveiled posthumously from September 18 to October 3, 2021 (Watch the progress via live stream).
Tell me about the work.
30,000 square meters of silver-blue fabric will be fastened with 7,000 meters of red rope. It is one of Christo's largest works. Scroll down Christo's website to watch a wonderful 6-minutes video of Christo in his studio in New York City in 2019 preparing the wrapping.
Tell me something about the Why.
Hope you don't expect to answer simple questions with simple answers. At least Christo did not do that, it is said. To understand Christo's work, you have to know that he was a former refugee. He was born in Bulgaria, and his parents both worked at a textile manufacturer. In 1958 he decided to flee to Vienna. "He sees all the projects as ultimately marked by nomadism", Devorah Lauter from artnet.com wrote about him after she had met him a few weeks before Christo passed away. "The cloth is the principal element to translate nomadism," Lauter quotes Christo in this worth reading article.
Somebody is missing.
Jeanne-Claude (Denat de Guillebon). She was born on the same day as Christo (on 13 June 1935; she in Morocco and he in Bulgaria), they met and married in Paris in the late 1950s - and they were inseparable. Originally working under Christo's name, they later credited their installations to both "Christo and Jeanne-Claude". Jeanne-Claude died in 2009.
Wrap it up.
Words are of little help here. Check out their great works for yourself.