I recently came across a controversial article about art fighting nature in Colorado. The essence of the article is about 2 artists, Christo and Jeanne Claude, who are in the process of getting approval to do an art installation on the Colorado River. See the article called:
Froma Harrop: ‘Art’ fights nature in Colorado. The essence of this argument is that the art installation is not environmentally friendly and would do more harm then good.
After reading this article, I decided to research Christo and Jeanne Claude so I went to their website. What I found was entirely contradictory to this article. It seems those who are arguing that the artists’ works are NOT eco friendly are misinformed. One of their most famous works of art is the Surrounding Islands in Florida.
In reviewing this project, it seems to me, far more was done to improve the environment than take away from it. “The marine and land crews picked up debris from the eleven islands, putting refuse in bags and carting it away after they had removed some forty tons of varied garbage: refrigerator doors, tires, kitchen sinks, mattresses and an abandoned boat.” Only after a significant cleanup was the art project started. Many many precautions were taken to make sure that the environment was not damaged during the installation, during the time the art coexisted in the environment and during the removal. See Surrounded Islands for more information.
Many misconceptions have been formed about these artists and their artwork. I found interesting reading on their website: Common Errors. Bottom line. . . controversy can create great marketing and allow for more people to learn of their techniques and of their art installations. I hope the controversy doesn’t stop the installation of these wonderful pieces of art. These are NOT artists who are clueless to the environment. They take great care to improve the environment and coexist with it. My hat goes off to them!