Christo (born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff) and Jeanne-Claude (born Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, †2009) were a married couple who created environmental works of art. Their works include the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris, the 24-mile (39 km)-long artwork called Running Fence in Sonoma and Marin counties in California, and The Gates in New York City's Central Park.
Although their work is visually impressive and often controversial as a result of its scale, the artists have repeatedly denied that their projects contain any deeper meaning than their immediate aesthetic impact. The purpose of their art, they contend, is simply to create works of art or joy and beauty and to create new ways of seeing familiar landscapes. Art critic David Bourdon has described Christo's wrappings as a "revelation through concealment." To his critics Christo replies, "I am an artist, and I have to have courage... Do you know that I don't have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they're finished. Only the preparatory drawings, and collages are left, giving my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain."
Christo’s latest project, Big Air Package, an indoor installation for the Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany, was conceived in 2010 and is on view from 16 March to 30 December 2013. Measuring 90 metres high, with a diameter of 50 metres and a volume of 177,000 cubic metres, this artwork is the largest-ever inflated envelope without a skeleton.