New East Digital Archive

Bulgarian artist Christo cancels vast public artwork in Trump protest

Bulgarian artist Christo cancels vast public artwork in Trump protest
Preparatory sketch for Over the River (Image: Over The River / Facebook)

31 January 2017

Bulgarian-born conceptual artist Christo has taken the decision to cancel his Over the River project — a huge public artwork in Colorado that has already cost the artist over $15 million and more than 20 years — in protest against US President Donald Trump.

Conceived in 1992, Over the River would have seen a luminous silvery canopy suspended above 42 miles (67.6km) of the Arkansas River in the US state of Colorado for two weeks, taking approximately two years and $50 million to install.

“I use my own money and my own work and my own plans because I like to be totally free. And here now, the federal government is our landlord. They own the land. I can’t do a project that benefits this landlord,” Christo said of his choice to ditch the project, which had faced staunch criticism from environmentalists.

The New York Times has dubbed this measure “the most visible — and costly — protest of the new administration from within the art world”.

Christo, whose full name is Christo Javacheff, is well-known for his large-scale actions, including Wrapped Reichstag (completed in 1995), in which Christo covered Berlin’s Reichstag building with 100,000 square metres of silver-grey fabric, together with his late wife Jeanne-Claude.

Source: New York Times