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Reader: Christo Was a Master of Gimmicks

Christo's "Valley Curtain."
Christo's "Valley Curtain."
Bruce McAllister / EPA / National Archives
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Christo, one of the giants of the contemporary art world, died at the end of May in New York. Although he never lived in Colorado, he did one major piece here — 1972's "Valley Curtain," outside Rifle — and had plans for another, "Over the River," which would have run along the Arkansas River. After working on the project for over a decade, Christo finally canceled it in 2016, after years of debates over environmental concerns.

It's still a contentious concept, as evidenced by comments made by readers of Michael Paglia's piece about Christo's Colorado connections.

Says Gabrielle: 

Beautiful piece Michael Paglia. Thank you, I was lucky to have experienced his work in New York.

Comments Patrick:

 F*&%ck this guy Christo. Glad he is gone and will not threaten any more of our national parks or monuments with his monumental waste of material that will find its way into a landfill. Good riddance and goodbye forever!

Adds Amanda:

 If I wanted to see art, I'll go to an art museum. If I am outside, I want to see nature.

Says Lori: 

He was the essence of Capitalism. Wrapping. And showed us it was possible to do it at a grand scale. Horizon, rivers, natural monuments. They are priceless natural monuments, but don't hold dollar value unless there's a huge handprint of Human Ego. And he dii it. Now I can breathe. No one is sitting somewhere planning to hang a curtain over my horizon view of the running river. How suffocating.

Counters Larry:

 It would have been temporary and amazing, and the environmental “concerns" were all bullshit stall tactics.

Concludes Anthony: 

Christo was not an artist. He was a master of gimmicks.

What did you think of Christo's work? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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