and Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon were born on the same day in 1935. After meeting in Paris in 1958, the two artists embarked on a 51-year alliance that resulted in some of the largest and most daring feats of public art that art history has seen. In 1995 they swaddled Berlin’s Reichstag in 1,076,390 square feet of silver fabric; in 1983 they surrounded 11 islands in Miami’s Biscayne Bay with 6.5 million square feet of floating pink polypropylene.
Above all, theirs was a partnership based on equality and close collaboration. During a 1995 interview with the Journal of Contemporary Art, Christo swiftly corrected the interviewer, who directed a question about the inspiration behind Wrapped Reichstag to only the male half of the duo. “First of all, you should understand that this is not only my project, it’s also Jeanne-Claude’s, all I do myself are the drawings,” Chirsto amended. “The only things I do myself is write the checks, pay the bills and pay the taxes. Everything else is Christo and Jeanne-Claude, including the creativity. It’s about time that people correct this mistake,” Jeanne-Claude concluded definitively. While Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009, Christo’s latest high-profile 2016 project, Floating Piers, in Lake Iseo, Italy, was conceived together with her in 1970.
Collaborated from 1959–2007