Christo in Clarence? Learning from the „Wrapper"

Wrapped portraits of Salvador Dalí and Ronald Reagan are a big surprise


By B. John Zavrel



"Christo was here ?" The Alexander Garden in the winter of 2010 in the town of Clarence, New York. Travelers who drive from New York City to Buffalo can see in this historical town a group of sculptures, veiled in heavy yellow plastic sheets. The sculptures stand in the Sculpture Garden of the US Museum of European Art (MEAUS). A lover of modern art will at once think: "Was the famous "Wrapper" Christo here?" The 'signature features' of the Bulgarian-born artist known for arranging 'art events' around the world are veilings and wrappings of various objects.


Clarence/New York (mea) Wrapped portraits of the late Salvador Dalí, his wife Gala and the US President Ronald Reagan are at present a "big surprise" for the visitors at the Alexander Garden at the Museum of European Art in the town of Clarence (near Buffalo). "Was Christo in Clarence? ", the museum is asked again and again. Unfortunately, not yet. The creator of environmental works of art, who turns 75 years on June 13, 2010, is seldom seen in the public. After the death of his beloved wife Jeanne-Claude, he continues to work and hardly ever lives his residence, they say.

What has really happened in Clarence? 'Gardener had covered the sculptures in the Alexander Garden of the Museum to protect them from ice and snow in the cold, Buffalo winter. The result was: Visitors associated this kind of "art-objects" with wrapped works of Christo. Some of the art lovers gossiped around: The Bulgarian-born artist has not used cloth for wrapping, but a new synthetic material.

The Museum said in a statement: It was not Christo, but the gardener who "made" these spectacular objects. Visitors appreciated that transparent plastic sheets were used for wrapping. The portraits of artists and politicians can be seen through this covering." The sculptures are in a kind of cocoon, and make a very surrealistic impression."



The close-up of the photo shows the veiled image of the famous Spanish painter Salvador Dalí.


The Clarence art case shows us, how strongly people associate art works with the work of famous artists, whose works they have already seen or know. The museum's curator recommended learning more about art of our time by reading catalogues and visiting cultural institutions. Teachers should give school children a better chance to visit together art exhibitions, and to learn more about the high value of fine art and music for the development of an individual's personality.



© PROMETHEUS 153/2010

PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin - News, Politics, Art and Science. Nr. 153, March 2010