In the summer of 2016 I walked on the water
thanks to Christo’s amazing artwork Floating piers. I was looking forward the next impressive project Over the River. The plan was to cover almost 10 km of the Arkansas river with silver fabric. The shimmering golden silk used for the Italian project on the Iseo lake would have been transformed into iridescent silver silk that would look amazing with the reflex of the flowing waters.
Conception of Over the River
Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s vision for Over The River was conceived in 1992. The project includes 5.9 miles (9.5 kilometers) of silvery, luminous fabric panels to be suspended clear of and high above the water, in eight distinct areas along a 42-mile (67.6 kilometer) stretch of the Arkansas River.
A very long iter to get all the authorizations started in 2009. Only a single last permit was missing and this was expected to arrive in the next months. They were almost ready to start the implementation of the project but on January 25th , as a surprise for the whole art-world, Christo declared in his blog “After pursuing Over The River project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, for 20 years and going through five years of legal arguments, I no longer wish to wait on the outcome. I have decided to devote all of my energy, time and resources into the realization of The Mastaba, Project for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which Jeanne-Claude and I conceived 40 years ago”.
Why did Christo cancel the project?
When asked about the reason behind this drastic decision, Christo said “My decision process was that, like many others, I never believed that Trump would be elected. I use my own money and my own work and my own plans because I like to be totally free. And here now, the federal government is our landlord. They own the land. I can’t do a project that benefits this landlord.”
I am very sorry that after so many years of work Christo and his staff decided to abandon the project but I do hope that maybe they just put it on hold and that with another US President they would reconsider it or realize it somewhere else. And most of all, let’s hope that it’s not the first of many art experiences that get cancelled because of the new government of USA.
Christo’s next project, The Mastaba
Anyway let’s get ready for the next Christo work of art The Mastaba in the United Arab Emirates near Adu Dhabi. The Mastaba, will be the largest sculpture in the world, made from 410,000 multi-colored barrels to form a mosaic of bright sparkling colors, echoing Islamic architecture. The Mastaba will be Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s only permanent large-scale work.
I am so much looking forward to go and admire The Mastaba
Read more about it at Christo’s blog.