The Gates, Central Park

Christo’s “art” in Central Park
March 1, 2005

Some person spends $21 million to erect saffron colored “gates” along many of the walkways in my beloved Central Park and calls it “art”. To be honest with you, I did’t get it. But I did learn something about myself from it.

I saw it on TV and said, “What a WOMBAT (waste of money, brains, and talent)!”. But then I went and spent three separate days in the park on mid-30 degree days, looking at the beautiful color the fabric has when hit by the mid-afternoon sun, listening to the whipping sound the fabric makes in the Winter wind, watching the smiles on peoples faces as they seem to enjoy the gates, and noticing that in the middle of Winter, these gates not only brought me to the park, but also hundreds of other New Yorkers and foreigners. I found it quite interesting.

I still don’t get it, nor am I sure if it’s really art or not, but it was interesting, and it got me and many hundreds of other people to the park during a time of year that I would rather be indoors. If the purpose of art is to make people react, then this undoubtedly qualifies as art.

Volunteers used polls with tennis balls on the top to unfurl any fabric that got stuck due to wind.
In this photo, the volunteer is handing out a fabric sample.
Close-up of a fabric sample