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Out of Our Minds
Monday, February 07, 2005 6:02 PM
What We Can Learn From Christo
Kevin Salwen on Creativity

christo.jpgArtists Christo and Jeanne-Claude have embarked on a massive project (yes, another one) to build temporary gates all through New York's Central Park. If you know Christo's work, you know he takes on audacious ideas (draping Paris's Pont-Neuf in fabric) as a way to show that public art can thrive.

What I love about his projects is that he reins in hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers who are drawn to his art for reasons ranging from a love of culture to a joy of experience. Today, my friend, Tara McNally, began taking a week off from work to build the gates and fired off this email:

'Today was AMAZING! There are a total of 600 people working out this project, who were all 'hand selected' from more than 2000 applicants. We are working on teams of 8 people and each team is assigned a different section of the park. I am working in the Chestnut Hill area, which is near the 79th Street and 5th Avenue entrance. Our daily quota is to put up 20 gates per day totaling 100 gates per team by Friday. Today we assembled and put up 23!!!

'All of the fabric/flag-like aspects of 'The Gates' will be unfurled beginning at 8:45 am this coming Saturday. Each team will be responsible for unfurling The Gates they hoisted up, which means I'll be unraveling AT LEAST 10 gates myself. So if you have a camera and are free on Saturday, PLEASE COME OUT!'

I found myself wondering: When is the last time a company project inspired the way this can and does? Yet, many companies do work that is equally good if not better for the world than creating art. Can we learn something from Christo?


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gregg - 2/9/2005 12:22:20 PM
I believe all of our work is 'art'. And, it's the 'audacious ideas' that facilitate passion which in turn inspires good work. I'm heading to NYC next week to view this magical project for myself- with a camera of course!
anita - 2/8/2005 9:16:07 AM
What he is doing is not only larger than life in many ways, it is a lot of fun. What we can learn from Christo is that people want to feel part of something big, even if it isn't world-changing -- isn't this why thousands of people congregate to watch balls drop on New Years Eve? And everyone wants to have a good time in the process.


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