Christo and Jeanne-Claude are an artistic duo famous for wrapping objects and buildings, as well as environmental art. They are arguably the best-known practitioners of what is called installation art. Their most recent project was 2005's The Gates, in New York City's Central Park.
Christo Yavasheff (born June 13, 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria), better known simply as Christo, is the primary artist and designer of the duo's projects. As well as installation art, he is also an accomplished painter and sketcher whose works have sold for as much as half a million dollars.
Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon (also born June 13, 1935) is Christo's wife, and, similarly to her husband, is known simply as Jeanne-Claude. The two are united in work as well, with Jeanne-Claude being Christo's partner in all undertakings. Jeanne-Claude traditionally serves as the PR agent of the two, and is considerably more outspoken than her husband.
Some of their famous works include the wrapping of the Pont Neuf in Paris with white cloth and Running Fence, a display of fabric strung across many kilometres in California.
Though their artwork is visually striking and often controversial due to its size and scale, the artists have repeatedly denied that their projects contain any "deeper meaning." The purpose of their art is intended to simply make the world a "more beautiful place" or offer a new way of looking at an old landscape.
On January 3, 2005, work began on the installation of the couple's most protracted project, The Gates, in Central Park in New York City. They have also referred to it as The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005 in reference to the time that passed from their initial proposal until they were able to go ahead with it. "The Gates" was opened to the public on February 12 and ran through February 27. The reception of this art is mixed, which is not unusual for their projects.
Annie Leibovitz made a witty portrait of Christo completely wrapped and bundled, much like his own artwork.