The COVID-19 outbreak has imposed restrictions in movement. As part of an ongoing initiative, photographers of Magnum Photo are sharing information and new work made in these strange and difficult times.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude were both born on June 13, 1935. In 1994 they decided to officially change the artist name “Christo” into: the artists “Christo and Jeanne-Claude.” They have been working together since their first outdoor temporary work: Stacked Oil Barrels and Dockside Packages, Cologne Harbor, 1961. Because Christo was already an artist when they met in 1958 in Paris, and Jeanne-Claude was not an artist then, they have decided that their name will be “Christo and Jeanne-Claude,” NOT “Jeanne-Claude and Christo.”
Throughout the millenniums, for 5,000 years, artists have tried to input a variety of different qualities into their works of art. They have used different materials: marble, stone, bronze, wood, fresco and paint. They have created mythological and religious images, figurative and abstract images. They have tried to do bigger or smaller works and a lot of different qualities. But there is one quality they have never used, and that is the quality of love and tenderness that human beings have for what does not last. For instance, they have love and tenderness for childhood because they know it will not last. They have love and tenderness for their own life because they know it will not last. Christo and Jeanne-Claude wish to donate this quality of love and tenderness to their work, as an additional aesthetic quality. The fact that the work does not remain creates an urgency to see it. For instance, if someone were to say, “Oh, look on the right, there is a rainbow,” one would never answer, “I will look at it tomorrow.” [Text by Jeanne-Claude, 1998]