Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Christo et Jeanne-Claude, Pompidou

Audacious. Intrepid. The words comes to mind when thinking of Christo. Yet this exhibit is full of surprises. We think of the sculptor as a wrapper of major  monuments. His early small, whimsical works surprise like this child’s pull toy. From this view it looks like a huge Trojan horse.
Originally he painted portraits. Then ‘wrapped’ them. There are mysterious wrapped bundles. Christo refused to reveal what was inside.
Early days he wrapped statues at Trocadero. The wrapped Pont Neuf hides a wonderful love story between Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
J-C’s mother asked Christo to paint her portrait. She invited him to lunch. He didn't want to come. She insisted. there he met Jeanne-Claude. He invited her to see his sculptures in his 7th floor walk-up chambre de bonne. The hall light went out just as he opened the door. She was terrorized by his bundles. The rest is history❤️.Interestingly, they both had the same birth date. Meant to be!
We see the bridge isolated, wrapped in its monumentality. Not as an urban project with Parisians interacting, a baby rolling on the fabric, with traffic. Some Locals didn't like it. They complained, “What’s the point? Its not art! It cost too much money!”
Christo raised all the $ himself from his drawings. No donations.
For 10 years he negotiated with French authorities and citizens for permission.
Again the Pont Neuf became  a lively gathering place, a city focal point as Henri IV envisioned it back in the 1600’s. Many visitors overlook the Pont Neuf in favor of more romantic Pont Alexandre. I did. I never went till this letter/map project except to cross over and think how long it took to get to the other side. I didn’t experience its monumentality, serenity, views.
The mini park below, Square de Vert Galant (noted in 
Vivian Swift’s book, Gardens of Awe and Folly) is one of Paris’ loveliest of pocket parks. Parisians know this. Its a haven. If you can not get to this extraordinary, uplifting exhibit, go to Pont Neuf next trip. You’ll need my Paris map
๐Ÿ˜ƒBear stays in the picture!๐Ÿป

14 comments:

Rachel said...

Delightful as ever. Yes, Paris is full of hidden delights, isn't it! Has Bear visited the basilica at St Denis?

Parisbreakfasts said...

Yes we wrote about that! We were ready to convert...a deeply spiritual experience❤️

Parisbreakfasts said...

Basilique de Saint-Denis
http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/2015/09/basilique-de-saint-denis.html

Bonnie L said...

Fascinating exhibit...Christo was so much more than the guy that wrapped up monuments! And, a love story, too. Paris inspired so many artists, as your Pont Neuf Letter shows. Thanks for bringing us along to another enlightening exhibit.

La Table De Nana said...

I tried painting that square..not square..would have liked to see en personne:)

lovsjaz said...

Thank you for taking us to this exhibit. Wonderful, as always!

sukicart said...

The Pont Neuf was the first bridge I interacted with and the only one I knew about on my first trips, so it is still special to me. Would have been interesting to see it wrapped.

Eye of the Beholder said...

For all Pont Neuf lovers, the book, How Paris Became Paris ,has a wonderful chapter on the bridge. It was meant for the artistocracy to mingle just ena bit with ordinary Parisians to show off, to flirt, to court on those lovely curved benches. Here's an interview with the author about the early history of the bridge:

https://www.npr.org/2014/02/28/283525705/when-war-torn-rubble-met-royal-imagination-became-paris

Parisbreakfasts said...

I LOVE that book...my Paris Bible ❤️

Parisbreakfasts said...

Yr welcome darling Bonelle
Fun to share the inspiration, the high

Parisbreakfasts said...

Good for you! I didnt think of it or rather I tried and ended up with the weeping willow at the point...

Parisbreakfasts said...

Yr such a clever duck Suki
You dint miss a thing !

Jeanie said...

Rick and I spent a very welcome respite at Parc Vert Galant on our last trip. I didn't realize I was walking around on ruptured tendons in my foot -- I just knew it hurt and I had to stop periodically. We were walking from Institut Arabe to Sennelier and I needed a break and we went there. SO lovely and peaceful, quite quiet on an early October day and the leaves were turning yellow. Thanks for triggering that memory!

Rachel said...

Good to see that - and I agree with all of it. Absolutely stunning and worth seeing more than once. I can't comment on the Taj Mahal, alas!