Monday, July 27, 2009

The Gates, Central Park, NY 1979-2005


Over the weekend I watched The Gates, Central Park, New York 1979-2005 - an HBO documentary about the art installation known simply as "The Gates". While watching the film I learned that artist Christo (below right) and his wife Jeanne-Claude had to fight with NYC officials for 25 years before they got the OK for the two-week project. Mayors Koch, Dinkins and Giuliani would not let them install the project in Central Park - but Mayor Michael Bloomberg finally gave the green light after he was elected.


After years of battling and planning, the artists - with the help of an army of volunteers - installed 7,503 vinyl "gates" along 23 miles (37 km) of pathways in the park during the winter of 2005. It was paid for completely by the artists.


On February 12, 2005, volunteers and elected officials simultaneously released the saffron-colored nylon fabric which was rolled up in the top of the gates. When the nylon was unfurled, the fabric flapped and swayed in the winter wind for two weeks.


Some people HATED the project - calling it "The Gates of Hell" and comparing it to a automated Car Wash. I was skeptical, but the first time I entered Central Park and walked under the gates (it was nighttime and had started to snow), I was instantly enchanted.




If you get a chance, take a look at The Gates on HBO.

9 comments:

Designer Store said...

Nice images.....

thanks for sharing...

Bob said...

I love Christo's work.

Dan said...

I happened to be in NYC during those two weeks and was mesmerized walking through the park. I thought it was amazing.

Michael Rivers said...

I saw pieces of this show. I would love to have seen this work in person. Twenty-five years to get approval. That's really belief in your art!

frogponder said...

Is he the same fellow who put waterfalls in NYC harbor?

kayce. said...

i kept meaning to watch this on HBO OnDemand ~ i've been keeping one eye on it for about a month now ~ and i'm so glad you posted this today, b/c i plunked right down to watch it.

i remember hearing about them in the news and was always curious about the color choice... it looks so much like a traffic cone from a distance. but watching the docu, i noticed that up close, it is actually an inviting color while also standing out from the natural landscape. makes me sorry that i didn't get to see them in person. it's like christo says: it's art to be experienced for a moment in time and if you miss it, you'll never see something just like it again.

PS: aren't the maysles who did this documentary the same team that did "grey gardens"?

David Dust said...

Kayce -

Good eye re: Maysles. I noticed that during the opening and closing credits. Yep, it was the same two brothers.

XOXOXOXO

kayce. said...

david ~

i mainly remember b/c it's my last name spelled differently, LOL.

xoxox.

Joy said...

I will check that out. Thanks!

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