* 1935 Gabrovo/Bulgarien
† 2020 New York
The American artist Christo is born as Christo Vladimirov Javacheff in the Bulgarian town of Gabrovo on June 13, 1935. He and his wife form an inseparable artists unit, Christo and Jeanne-Claude closely work together on all projects.
Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon is born in Casablanca (Morocco) on the same day as Christo. She comes from a French family that has strong connections with the military, she goes to school in France and in Switzerland, finally studying Latin and philosophy at the Tunis university.
Christo studies at the Sofia Art Academy from 1953 to 1956, and changes to Vienna for a semester in 1957. A year later he goes to Paris, where he meets his future wife Jeanne-Claude. They get married in 1960, their son, who is a poet today, is born on May 11, 1960.
Christo works with wrapped objects and packages from an early point on. In 1961 he and Jeanne-Claude work on the first project with a wrapped object in public spaces: They wrap oil barrels in the Cologne harbor.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude move to New York in 1964. They develop the project "5,600 Cubicmeter Package" for the documenta 4 in Kassel in 1968 - it is a tied up package that is 82 meters long, with 6.000 kilogram of air, standing upright. Other big projects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude is the "Running Fence" (California, 1976, height of fence 5,5 m, - 39,4 km long), the "Surrounded Islands" (Miami, 1983, pink polypropylene cloth around 11 islands), "The Pont Neuf Wrapped" (Paris, 1985), "The Umbrellas, Japan-USA" in 1991 (1.340 blue umbrellas, 6 meters high, in a valley in Ibaraki, Japan, and 1.760 yellow umbrellas in a valley in California), "Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin" in 1995 and "The Gates" in 2005 (7.503 gates of orange cloth in the Central Park in New York). The artist have been working on the realization of the project "Over the River", that will cover the Arkansas River in Colorado with cloth, since 1992.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude say that their artistic co-operation has always been coined by equality. However, to make things a bit more simple, it had always been passed of as Christo's art, until Jeanne-Claude's name comes up in 1994. All smaller wrapped objects, drawings, collages, models and lithographs carry only Christo's name. All big outdoor projects, as well as the bigger indoor projects, are works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
Money for the expensive projects is generated by selling all preparatory drawings, sketches and early wrapped projects. They neither accept money from sponsors nor donations. All assistants are paid, this way the two artists want to maintain their complete independence.