Saturday, February 12, 2005

Burnlab was on the scene at 7:30am this morning to cover the unveiling of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's ambitious 'Gates' piece in Central Park. We arrived near the Met to see several groups of volunteers pulling the strips of tape that held the fabric panels to the temporary structures(top photo) Walking near the reservoir, we happened to notice a Maybach cruising down the parkway followed by several NYPD cars. Sensing we were in the right place at the right time for a Burnlab exclusive for our beloved readers, we ran down a wooded section to where the car came to a stop. Camera in hand, Christo and Jeanne-Claude stepped out with a camera crew to do a short interview. Jeanne-Claude with freshly dyed saffron colored hair and Christo wearing rather fashionable gardening gloves. They were both greeted with applause from the somewhat stunned group of people who like me, just happened to be there. The rest of the morning was spent trying to wrap our minds around the enormity of this project. The scale of both the beauty and the sheer number is difficult to communicate with words or pictures. This is not something you can evaluate using comparisons to art shows in galleries or museum spaces. You really feel like you have been shrunken down and are walking through a painting. The changing light and a slight breeze translate to dramatic effects. Curiously, I passed not one sad face on my walk from 86th street to 57th street today.
The Gates will be part of Central Park for the next two weeks.

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