In the last issue of the german “Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin” (December 2014) there is an interesting interview with Christo (1935), the man who packaged the Reichstag in 1995.
The interview by Malte Herwig gives some interesting facts about this artist:
- He hates it to be called a “packaging” artist. Because since 1971 (Reichstag project was finished in this year) he does not package anything more
- He works 15 hours per day
- He and his wife never took the same flight, to avoid dying together.
- In Teheran they unpacked one of his works and it has to be repaired by one of his restaurators
- “People do not have respect for artworks anymore, specially contemporary ones. They are more cautious with porcelain cups rather than with modern art! it is insolent. They are much more expensive than the most expensive porcelain”
- in 50 years we did 22 projects and we did not get permission to do 37
- the reichstag project was rejected 3 times
- “For the project in the Arkansas river we had to write an application with 2029 pages. That costs 1,5 million dollars to pay the experts working on it. Than in Washington you pay lobbyists and attorneys that will work in a 1686 pages long paper and cost 2,5 millions.”
- “Almost 4000 pages about a piece of art, that does not exist, do you understand! which artist can tell something like that?”
- “Our works have a total freedom, they are completely useless and total irrational”
- “Do you collect artworks from other artists? Not really. I have an incredible chair from Gerrit Rietveld, for which I gave one of my packages in exchange. I exchanged artworks with Lucio Fontana. I have a Warhol, some Duchamp and Miró.. But I’m not a collector. I don’t have time. I collect only my own art and buy it back”.
- “My studio has 90 steps in the stairs. I go up 15 times up and down every day.”
- “I skip my lunch, because I like to work with my stomach empty. Because I feel more light and have more energy. I eat every day for breakfast a bulgarian suitcase. It activates the immune system. did not have a day influenza in my life. When I travel I have always garlic in my suitcase”
- “The archeology of the year 2500 will search in digital archives instead of the earth. They’ll find my works because I document everything”
- About the current project Mastaba in Abu Dhabi: “It will be the greatest sculpture of the earth. Bigger than the Cheops Pyramid.”.