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Christo

Artist

Born: 13 June 1935
Birthplace: Gabrovo, Bulgaria
Best known as: The artist who wrapped the Reichstag with fabric in 1995

Name at birth: Christo Vladimirov Javacheff

The avant-garde artist Christo created some of the most spectacular large-scale artworks of the 20th century. Working with his wife and creative partner, Jeanne-Claude, he wrapped in fabric the Reichstag building in Berlin (1995) and the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris (1985), built a 25-mile fabric fence across Northern California (1975), and strung a huge orange curtain across a Colorado valley (1972). Christo was born in Bulgaria and studied fine arts in Sofia and Vienna before moving to Paris in 1958. There he met Jeanne-Claude, who became his muse and partner in exotic art. They married in 1962, moved to New York in 1964 and began making the ever-larger "environmental" artworks for which Christo became famous: wrapped fountains, bridges, buildings, and other public spaces. His career (to date) culminated with "The Gates," which placed 7500 vinyl gates, with free-flowing orange nylon fabric panels, across 23 miles of Central Park walkways for 16 days in 2005. Considering himself a pure artist, Christo refused all sponsorship and corporate money and raised the millions needed to execute his artworks by selling sketches, designs, and models of his proposed projects.

Extra credit: Christo and Jeanne-Claude were born on the exact same day: 13 June 1935. She died in 2009... They were married in 1962 and had one son, Cyril, who was born in 1960.

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