GREATEST: Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Anya Firestone documents the duo's fairytale of art, romance and legacy in conversation with the couple's nephews.
“Once upon a time … ” That verbal quartet that opens each fairy tale is perhaps no better suited than to the love story of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the husband-and-wife artist duo known for their monumental installations. From wrapping iconic landmarks like the Reichstag building in Berlin (Wrapped Reichstag, 1971–1995) to adorning Central Park with saffron-colored fabric (The Gates, 1979–2005), their environmental artworks not only challenged the boundaries of traditional art forms at an exterior level, but also poignantly marked the power of collaboration within the interiority of a romantic relationship. Born, once upon a time, in the same hour, day and year (June 13, 1935), Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s kismet connection was an integral ingredient to creating art as rare as their partnership.