To my pleasant surprise, The Gates was extraordinary. As you can imagine, we’ve been hearing a lot about it and past Christo works on the news here. I was a bit skeptical about it at first. Is The Gates really art? Seeing it made me a believer. Is The Gates great art? I don’t know, but it was fun. Really great light-hearted fun. And it was more than a crazy whim on the part of the artist. The orange against the bleak grey trees and dormant foliage was perfect. This would not have worked any other time but in the grey of winter.
Another thing that impressed me is that the Christo and Jeanne-Claude paid for this entire project out of their own pocket. Not a dime of taxpayer or sponsorship money went toward the The Gates. From what I read, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, New York City residents, have been trying to put this together for about 25 years but have been rebuffed by the city. But Mayor Bloomberg is a personal friend so when he was elected, he made it happen. Christo sells drawings of the project to raise the money needed for the project. Regardless of what one thinks of the The Gates, Christo and Jeanne-Claude should be honored for their generousity.
I’m sure you know how big Central Park is. The *entire* park was done up with these orange gates. From 59th St. all the way up to Harlem and from east to west. Yes, extraordinary indeed.
We attended on February 20, 2005.