Skip to comments.'The Gates' Colors Central Park in Saffron
Posted on 02/12/2005 9:05:35 AM PST by Vision
NEW YORK (AP) - With flowing fabric the color of a sunrise, "The Gates" - a massive public art installation - was unfurled Saturday for the start of a 16-day stay transforming miles of footpaths in Central Park.
The project opened with Mayor Michael Bloomberg dropping the first piece of saffron-colored fabric to the cheers of a huge crowd. He was joined by exhibit creators Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
The crowd counted down the seconds before Bloomberg, a longtime backer of the project, opened the exhibition at 8:30 a.m.
The weather was windy and cold as the first fabric dropped from one of the 7,500 16-foot-high gates, creating what the artists billed as "a visual golden river" along 23 miles of the park's footpaths. More than 1 million square feet of fabric was used by the artists.
Its official title - "The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005" - refers to the artists' conception of the idea 26 years ago. It was expected to take about two hours to drop the fabric from all the gates.
"It's a bit insane, but that's why everybody is here," said Ali Naqui, who was brought to the unveiling against his will by his fiancee.
Among the first folks there were 17 fourth-graders from an elementary school in Queens. The group boarded a bus before sunrise and made the trip into Manhattan, where they were suitably impressed by the spectacle.
"It's a waste of money, but it's fabulous," said student Shakana Jayson. "It brings happiness when you look at it."
Visitors to the park had already admired the vinyl gates, even with the fabric still tucked inside "cocoons" on top of the structures.
"I think it's fantastic," said Dominique Borel, who was walking her dog, Mickey, on Friday. "I love it. I think it's exhilarating." Mickey was wearing an orange scarf around his neck in honor of the project.
The artists have said there is no best place to see the piece, but art connoisseurs and the merely curious staked out the best views. James Ellis said he planned to see the piece from Belvedere Castle.
"February's always been a dreary month for me, so I think it kind of spices it up a little bit and makes me want to come out to the park at a time when I usually wouldn't," Ellis said.
The artists are paying for the project - which could be as much as $21 million - themselves.
"I can't promise, particularly since this is New York, that everyone will love 'The Gates,' but I guarantee that they will all talk about it," Bloomberg said Friday at a news conference with the artists. "And that's really what innovative, provocative art is supposed to do."
Although Christo and Jeanne-Claude's have invested so much time and effort in the project, they were reticent to discuss "The Gates."
"It's very difficult," explained Christo. "You ask us to talk. This project is not involving talk. It's a real, physical space. It's not necessary to talk. You spend time, you experience the project."
"The Gates" is the pair's first major project in New York City. In their most recent project, "Wrapped Reichstag" (Berlin, 1995), they used a silvery fabric to wrap the building, creating a flow of vertical folds.
The city has said tens of thousands of visitors may come to "The Gates," over 16 days. Some of them have seen other works by the artists, who have created temporary art projects around the world.
Sibyl Rubottom, who saw the artists'"The Umbrellas," in which 3,100 umbrellas were opened in California and Japan in 1991, said she started planning her trip to New York from San Diego last spring.
Rubottom said she planned to return to the park on Saturday and would go to an "apres-'Le Gates' opening party" at a friend's house. Rubottom was wearing an orange jacket and scarf, and her orange eyeglass frames happened to match, too.
"I dressed for the occasion," she said.
"The artists are paying for the project - which could be as much as $21 million - themselves. "
Good point, but still...why?
---in the place where polls show the majority of voters now describe Hillary Clinton as "honest"--
"Good point, but still...why?"
I have no idea, but as long as it's being paid for with private funds, I don't care.
On Fox and Friends this morning they were talking about this "exhibit" with shots from Central Park, and I kept hearing that old Peggy Lee song, "Is That All There Is?"
and why I live in a simple little house in the woods -
with the animals
and much prefer it!
How do they earn their keep? Are they going to sell these things off to collectors afterwards? I can imagine there are a handful of people who would want one of these monstrosities in their garden, but thousands of them?
Where are those who were decrying the expense of the inauguration?
See post 2
I'm just mad about Saffron
Saffron's mad about me
I'm just mad about Saffron
She's just mad about me
I did. Heard it on the news. A very important, and largely ignored point.
While i think it looks cool, i don't see how it's "Art". Wouldn't "Construction" be a better discription?
"How do they earn their keep? Are they going to sell these things off to collectors afterwards?"
I have no idea. I sure won't be buying one.
Yes. As long as it's paid for by private parties, it's of no importance to me. I think it's silly, personally, but what difference does that make?
Is gonna be a sudden craze
Is bound to be the very next phase
That does make a BIG difference. If it is a temporary exhibit, and it is done with the blessing of the city, then it is simply to be enjoyed or shunned under it's own merits. It does not seek to offend a particular group, so I really don't have a problem with it. Now, if they made me pay for it, or if it was another moron political/hate show, then I would feel differently. But this makes me wonder -
what does it look like? Will people leave it alone, or will their be graffiti all over it by the end of the show? Will it be one of those things that children will remember?
Oooooh, your work is pretty. And it IS art.
It is a greater legacy to bequeath to your family than all the money in the world - for anyone can hold money in their hand. But to hold a brush in one's hand and create dreams? That is rare indeed.
All I can say is it is good these fools are funding this eyesore. I am sure people would be shouting from the rooftops if a dime of their money was wasted on it.
By the way, I need to commission someone to redo my portrait:
Great Job... You should sell poster prints of this mural. Was this mural commissioned by someone ?
Thanks! The VFW Post commissioned it back in '97. We do plan to make posters to sell to raise money for the Post. Gotta finish it, have the poster made and then we'll have an unveiling/dedication, hopefully the weekend before Memorial Day 2005.
Well, at least it's art that's not trying to offend anyone. What a refreshing change.
YOu know, they would have looked a lot better, and, oddly enough, made a bigger impact, had they not been placed so close together. It looks like a jumble right now.
please keep us posted at FR; would be interested in purchasing
Each of these things cost neary $3000. I wonder if they are fireproof? We'll find out soon!
"We have no idea. We just like orange."
Just a matter of time before New York looks like Calcutta, with all those saffron clad vagrants and drug addicts.
Sadly, most FReepers would have destroyed Michaelangelo's "David" if they were around back then.
They are private artists who sell their work to private collectors.
Note: Back in the 1990s, Cristo's Umbrella installation killed a woman in California.
WE'RE ALL DOOMED! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
Nothing wrong with it if the taxpayers aren't paying, but I don't see anything beautiful or provocative about it. February is a dreary month for me, too, but I would MUCH rather get on a plane and go to San Antonio la hermosa.
Congratulations in advance for the finished mural.
...and in turn the private collectors get invited to nifty parties with free liquor.
Yeah, right. You sure pegged us there! Good comparison of talent, too. Orange curtains require as much, if not more, artistic skill as the sculpture of David. [/sarcasm]
"Oh, naked body! Blasphemy! And for what purpose? There are people everywhere, why do we need this crap?"
Part of the money is coming from the sale of Christo's preliminary drawings for this incursion--sort of as if he were Leonardo.
Christo thinks that's okay, because he has very expensive liability insurance. That's how much he cares about New Yorkers.
Those gates look just like the washing devices that were part of the local automatic car wash until it went brushless. (Same color, too) I wonder if this "artist" is paying royalties to the engineer that designed it?
Here is a work by Christo that was commissioned for the Bicentennial in 1976Looks like an AN/FPS-108 Cobra Dane ICBM phased array RADAR missile building ... maybe that *was* his inspiration ...
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