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Christo’s Gates: A Transcendent Experience
Feb. 21, 2005 | Republican Professor

Posted on 02/21/2005 4:01:06 PM PST by Republicanprofessor

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I know that many FReepers don't "get" Christo's Gates and think them a waste of time and money. Read here for another view.

My photos included below.

If you haven't seen them, and if you can get to NYC in the next 5 days to do so, you won't regret it.

1 posted on 02/21/2005 4:01:08 PM PST by Republicanprofessor
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To: Republicanprofessor

The finest collection of superfluous outdoor tangerine shower curtains I have ever seen. Breathtaking.


2 posted on 02/21/2005 4:02:21 PM PST by Petronski (Zebras: Free Range Bar Codes of the Serengeti)
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To: Republicanprofessor

Orange sheets on poles.....that isn't art....I'm sorry.


3 posted on 02/21/2005 4:03:22 PM PST by Dog (FReepers-- - -- --- We are a battery of 80,000 bullsh*t-seeking missiles.)
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To: Petronski

I'm hanging out my red shower curtains on the clothesline tomorrow you think the press will cover them.


4 posted on 02/21/2005 4:05:04 PM PST by Dog (FReepers-- - -- --- We are a battery of 80,000 bullsh*t-seeking missiles.)
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To: Republicanprofessor

I'm frustrated that I'm such a klutz that I can't get my images on line. Sorry.


5 posted on 02/21/2005 4:08:41 PM PST by Republicanprofessor (10)
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To: Republicanprofessor

Great description! I'd love to see them, but I don't think I'll be able to get up there.

I saw the Running Fence (in fact, I used to drive by it on a regular basis) many a long year ago. I scoffed at it at first, but the wonderful thing was that it really did make you look at the hills in a way you normally didn't bother to do. I think a lot of Christo's art is simply that he puts something in place that makes you see other things that were there all along - but that you never noticed.

This could be a shape, a line, a color. And somehow you've walked by it every day without noticing it, until suddenly...

I couldn't see the photos, btw. Did you post them? Thanks!


6 posted on 02/21/2005 4:10:15 PM PST by livius
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To: Republicanprofessor

Perhaps Christo can finance the next Presidential Inaugural so we won't have to hear the liberal whining about moeny which could be better be spent on the Iraqis or others in need.


7 posted on 02/21/2005 4:10:18 PM PST by Socratic (Ignorant and free? It's not to be. - T. Jefferson (paraphrase))
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To: Dog
Have you seen them in person? Believe me, it makes all the difference in the world.

Try to open your eyes and mind a bit. Contemporary art is difficult, but this is so much better than most. You really have to be there. That's why I wanted to post this as soon as I could upon return home.

8 posted on 02/21/2005 4:10:52 PM PST by Republicanprofessor (10)
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To: Republicanprofessor

Thank you RP for your posting and your photos. I too would encourage everyone who can, to get down to Central Park and experience it for yourself.

Central Park on Sunday was alive. Alive in the dead of Winter with people, and with the Gates.
From Central Park South up to 114th Street, there were masses of people, all kinds of people, families, children, people who came from all over the tri-State area and all over the world.
Everyone talked to each other, and shared their thoughts. Many admitted they had come with an attitude, sure they would hate the Gates. Almost all went on their way smiling.
Seeing the Park and the Gates,one can't separate one from the other, in the fading sunlight, from all different perspectives was a delightful feast for the eyes and imagination.


9 posted on 02/21/2005 4:10:55 PM PST by PJBlogger (HILLARY 'S QUEST:: Supreme Leader of the World)
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To: Republicanprofessor
Yeah, Right.

Depending one's taste, (or lack thereof), one might call them nice decorations or ornaments.

But it isn't ART by any means.

I say this as someone who makes a living as an artist who appreciates true artistry and/or craftsmanship in a wide variety of media and never had to take a dime of public money or litter the countryside with fabric to do so.

10 posted on 02/21/2005 4:12:51 PM PST by LegendHasIt
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To: LegendHasIt

Christo doesn't take public money. He raises all the money himself to put these installations into public spaces.


11 posted on 02/21/2005 4:14:56 PM PST by livius
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To: LegendHasIt

Forgot to mention - hotels have been full in New York for the last week and will be full until the Gates are taken down, because people have come from all over the country and the world to see it. I assume NYC pays for the police, the clean up, etc., but the city is making a lot of money on this exhibit.


12 posted on 02/21/2005 4:18:10 PM PST by livius
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To: Republicanprofessor

I'd like to see them in person, they look pretty cool. I don't see any pictures.


13 posted on 02/21/2005 4:19:03 PM PST by Lx (Tuesday is Soylent green day!)
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To: Republicanprofessor

14 posted on 02/21/2005 4:19:50 PM PST by Torie
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To: Republicanprofessor


15 posted on 02/21/2005 4:20:33 PM PST by Republicanprofessor (10)
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To: Republicanprofessor

I may be totally wrong but I'm confident that I will be quickly corrected if I am. Christo is so admired that he doesn't need for any of his truly awesome efforts or "works of art" to be paid for by John Q Public. I am always interested in what he does.


16 posted on 02/21/2005 4:21:35 PM PST by nkycincinnatikid
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To: livius
I wish I could have seen any of his works. That's why I spent hours driving to NYC to see these.

And I don't regret it for an instant.

Got some help and got three images up. Have many, many more; it's so hard to choose.

17 posted on 02/21/2005 4:22:20 PM PST by Republicanprofessor (10)
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To: Republicanprofessor

No thanks. I'll take Monet, Degas and Renoir every time. Arranging fabric on the landscape to me is just so much self-indulgent silliness.


18 posted on 02/21/2005 4:22:30 PM PST by Lizavetta (Modern liberalism: Where everyone must look different but think the same.)
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To: livius

Yes, I understood that there was no tax money in this particular installation. Wasn't aware that he had NEVER taken ANY public money... Was under the impression he got a good wad of taxpayer money for one of the things he did on the west coast..

My apologies for not being absolutely clear ... I just have a general disdain for "artists" that can't make a living without government.


19 posted on 02/21/2005 4:22:51 PM PST by LegendHasIt
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To: Torie

Thanks for the aerial view. Did you take those yourself? I wanted to get to the Met roof top garden for a view, but the line was way too long, and I was too anxious to get out there myself to walk.


20 posted on 02/21/2005 4:24:27 PM PST by Republicanprofessor (10)
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To: Republicanprofessor
Since this qualifies as an expression of art, I have but one question: How does Frank Rich feel about them?

Once I know that, I'll know better how to proceed...

21 posted on 02/21/2005 4:24:34 PM PST by okie01 (A slavering moron and proud member of the lynch mob, cleaning the Augean stables of MSM since 1998.)
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To: Torie

21 million and counting.


22 posted on 02/21/2005 4:25:23 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Lizavetta
I love Monet. But in a new age, you need to do new things. And Monet didn't get people off their rearends to walk where they'd never walked before.

I find Monet's waterlilies equally transcendent. I could look at them forever. But this brought my whole body into the artwork. And maybe a million other bodies too.

23 posted on 02/21/2005 4:26:21 PM PST by Republicanprofessor (10)
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To: Torie
But it beats blaspheming Jesus of Nazareth.
24 posted on 02/21/2005 4:27:30 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: okie01

Excuse my ignorance: who is Frank Rich? Why does his opinion matter? (Or is there some sarcasm I missed?)


25 posted on 02/21/2005 4:27:32 PM PST by Republicanprofessor (10)
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To: Torie; Republicanprofessor; cyborg

I see cakeboys in the Brambles.

Looks cold...the rowing pond (do they still have little boats?) looks frozen.

I like the gates btw?

At least no one was killed this time where they?


26 posted on 02/21/2005 4:28:08 PM PST by wardaddy (I don't think Muslims are good for America....just a gut instinct thing.)
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To: Republicanprofessor
No alas, but it is a great pic, isn't it? I grabbed it from here.
27 posted on 02/21/2005 4:28:10 PM PST by Torie
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To: Republicanprofessor
I went to see it on Saturday. Took my two dogs so it wouldn't be a total loss.

The crowds and the atmosphere were great. The only time I thought the art was interesting was when a breeze happened. I liked it then.

28 posted on 02/21/2005 4:28:32 PM PST by Pharmboy ("Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God")
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To: jwalsh07

Ya. I quite like it myself.


29 posted on 02/21/2005 4:32:05 PM PST by Torie
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To: Republicanprofessor
And Monet didn't get people off their rearends to walk where they'd never walked before.

Perhaps we have a different conception of what art is. You view it as something that should get people to exercise. I view it as creating beauty and awe with their talents. And I don't believe you need new kinds of art for a new age...this reminds me of the "new math" fiasco and "whole language" that were foisted on America's school children because we had to "modernize" education.

The curtains and lilypads of Cristo in my opinion will be seen as a temporary novelty whereas the Old Masters' creations will be cherished for a long time to come.

30 posted on 02/21/2005 4:34:43 PM PST by Lizavetta (Modern liberalism: Where everyone must look different but think the same.)
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To: Republicanprofessor
Excuse my ignorance: who is Frank Rich? Why does his opinion matter? (Or is there some sarcasm I missed?)

Frank Rich is the Arts Editor for the New York Times.

He is far more likely mount a rant about Dick Cheney in his Sunday column than to praise (or diss) Christo's Gates.

And, yes, I should have included a < sarcasm> tag...

31 posted on 02/21/2005 4:34:44 PM PST by okie01 (A slavering moron and proud member of the lynch mob, cleaning the Augean stables of MSM since 1998.)
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To: Republicanprofessor

I saw them last week, traversed Cental Park twice on foot. I thought the gates very nice. I do consider them "art," and good art at that. Not sure about "very good."

OTOH, I put them in the category of interior decorating (also art), albeit interior decorating outdoors - exterior decorating, I guess. Actually it looks like a lot of flags and banners, gives a medieval fete kind of impression on a grand scale, if anything.

While in Manhattan, I also stopped by the Dahesh, the Hispanic Society (to see the Sorollas) and the Met. I have to say that Christo's work isn't at all on the level of the greats of the art world that are found in other parts of NYC (including many of the buildings). But seeing the Christo stuff is a one time thing, it's worthwhile for sure.


32 posted on 02/21/2005 4:41:34 PM PST by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: Republicanprofessor; finnman69

Ping. Thanks for your recommendations.


33 posted on 02/21/2005 4:47:49 PM PST by Republicanprofessor (10)
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To: Republicanprofessor
As long as people are happy with some orange drapes, why seek out anything more uplifting, transcendent, and ethereal?
34 posted on 02/21/2005 4:52:42 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Sam Cree
It seems to me that the people who have walked through them appreciate them more.

I, too, went to the Met that day, and the Museum of Natural History. Needless to say, we didn't spend long at the main museums (which we can visit any time in the future for any length of time). I wanted to experience the Gates instead.

My criteria for art is form and content. Does the form express the ideas the artist has, and not in a cliched, been-there-done-that style? Monet is great; but those who imitate his style today don't have that sense of exploration and discovery. He was ridiculed at first as well. Often other artists are the first to ridicule those whose styles are new, different, and threatening. (An idea from Leo Steinberg in his Other Criteria.)

35 posted on 02/21/2005 4:53:29 PM PST by Republicanprofessor (10)
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: Republicanprofessor

Yes, the Gates are definitely cool, and it's also true that the stuff in museums is there any time you want to see it.

I stopped into NYC after a trip to Syracuse with the specific intention of hitting a couple museums. I'd forgotten the Christo thing, it was an added bonus, lots of fun. My daughter has made a trip since, just to see the Gates. She acquired a piece of the fabric which was being given out somewhere.

You are right about not imitating the old masters - they themselves did not "imitate" those who went before them, although they certainly took things from and took time to learn from earlier masters. They built on what went before without imitating, I guess is what I'm trying to say.


As for modern art, I have nothing against abstract art, since even the old masters stuff is abstract, once you break it down to the basic elements. And even the old masters would have told us that simply reproducing something accurately is not enough. If it were, then every schlep with an instamatic camera would be a great artist - which they are not.


OTOH, IMO, the modern(e) art world often seems kind of like the emporer with no clothes to me.


37 posted on 02/21/2005 5:06:22 PM PST by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: Lizavetta

By your very definition: "creating beauty and awe with their talents" the gates could qualify... while you may disagree they caused that reaction for myself and many others.

I do agree that "new" doesn't necessarily mean "good," but we can't just sit around and copy Monet for the rest of eternity!

Art, in my opinion, shouldn't just be beautiful, but should say something to the viewer, make them think in a new way. The gates certainly accomplish that goal for many visitors, and I commend the artist for that.


38 posted on 02/21/2005 5:06:47 PM PST by LiveBait
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To: Republicanprofessor
It shimmers through the woods in the distance, winding around Olmstead’s paths, highlighting the intricacy and power of the park. It contrasts with the blue sky, the white sun and the snow.

Delightful description, professor.

I respect your opinion and credentials; however, as one who dabbles in art, I'm afraid that I do not agree.

From Christo's curtain across a gorge, to his running fence, to umbrellas stuck in the ground, my belief is that Christo's work belongs to a very select genre of artist - that being a con artist.

That said, it's fine with me that some folks enjoy the works.

.

39 posted on 02/21/2005 5:12:15 PM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: Republicanprofessor
I went to one his exhibits in Germany. Most of the stuff was just laughable. Anyone with a can of spray paint could do the same "art".

I guess I just don't appreciate modern art.

40 posted on 02/21/2005 5:52:26 PM PST by lizma
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To: Republicanprofessor
There are Eastern influences: the gates remind me of Japanese war banners and the Great Wall of China.

Close. Golden Horde. Mongol camp. Barbarians at the Gates of Rome (New York, USA). Painfully obvious.

Painfully obvious that I have no idea what it's about but my interpretation is at least provocative.

41 posted on 02/21/2005 6:02:50 PM PST by decimon
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To: Republicanprofessor

Is it supposed to look garish?


42 posted on 02/21/2005 6:07:19 PM PST by Shanda
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To: Republicanprofessor

It seems to have stirred a passion in you that has gone beyond the exhibit. Something every artist strives to do. Good for him and for you.


43 posted on 02/21/2005 6:24:17 PM PST by stevio (Let Freedom Ring!)
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To: wardaddy

LOL! It's been a while for you hasn't it? :o)


44 posted on 02/21/2005 7:15:48 PM PST by cyborg (http://mentalmumblings.blogspot.com/)
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To: Republicanprofessor

I am hoping to see them before they go....I happen to love Christo.


45 posted on 02/21/2005 7:44:57 PM PST by Katya (Homo Nosce Te Ipsum)
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To: Republicanprofessor

This "art" does nothing but obscure what is truly beautiful - the park. Olmstead is the artist here, not Christo.


46 posted on 02/21/2005 8:45:17 PM PST by LibFreeOrDie (How do you spell dynasty? P-A-T-R-I-O-T-S!)
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To: Torie
Nice view! ,(:>)

Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting

47 posted on 02/21/2005 11:23:38 PM PST by Yehuda (AMERICA: LAND OF THE FREE, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!)
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To: Republicanprofessor
Thanks for your take. Christo does have a unique vision and the first impulse is always to laugh, but like his California Umbrellas, people who actually see his installations are moved and impressed.

I love the fact that he and Jean Claude were born on the same day, have the same passion for his art and have stayed in love for all these years. La ve a belle!

48 posted on 02/21/2005 11:36:04 PM PST by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: Deb

Jean Claude is a man's name. Christo's wife is Jeanne-Claude :-)


49 posted on 02/21/2005 11:45:17 PM PST by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: Deb

Et la vie est belle, aussi. 8~)


50 posted on 02/22/2005 12:36:42 AM PST by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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