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The Gates of Central Park in New York

By Mark Traston

Central Park is as much a landmark of Manhattan and New York as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State building. To walk into the paradise of Central Park after being in the glass and steel jungle is to take a breath of fresh air. On February 12, 2005, this walk was made even more splendid and awe inspiring with 7500 "gates" standing 16 feet high with bright orange cloth flowing in the wind 7 feet above you. As the fabric flapped and rustled, it hid the city from you, and caused the noise of the taxis and ambulances to cease for a small time. For in that moment you were part of something bigger than the city, the park, or yourself; for a moment you were part of the art of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude are known for their multiple large works with fabric and the natural world. The couple are both classically educated and trained artists who came together as partners in art as well as in life in 1960. Since their first collaboration in 1961, they've continued to extend their fabric lined ideas throughout the world. Some of their most famous works were "The running Fence" that strewn over 24 miles of the California countryside and the "surrounded islands" when in Biscayne Bay, Miami was wrapped in a blue piece of fabric. Their art is done on a very large scale and internationally visible so that the most amounts of people see it. Like many beautiful things in life such as the flowers of spring or the leaves of autumn, you must see them when they are there or they will be gone forever. Christo and Jeanne-Claude are currently working on a project to wrap or create a ceiling on the Arizona River in Colorado. This project is expected to be finished at the end of 2008. The couple has raised their son and lived in New York City since 1964.

Because they are inhabitants of this wonderfully eclectic American city, they wanted a way to show their love and appreciation for it. They had asked to do some sort of project for and with the city for many years, but all of their ideas were rejected. When they proposed "The Gates" in 2004, they were granted permission happily. This project gave many New York City residents work putting up and taking down the masterpiece, and the opportunity to be part of this couples artful thank-you. On February 27, 2005 the residents of New York were left with the natural green landscape of the park, and the memories of walking under the autumnal flapping gates.

Mark Traston is an associate with Portrait Painting. A portrait artist will turn your photo into an oil painting. Our artists specializes in a specific area including wedding paintings, pet portraits, and CEO portraits.

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