Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond

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Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond by Jan Greenberg is a non-fiction book written for children. It focuses on The Gates exhibition from 2005 in NYC, but also introduces a handful of the artists’ other major works. My favorite line in the book is when Jeanne-Claude is quoted asserting “It has no purpose. It is not a symbol. It is not a message.”  Sometimes Jeanne-Claude’s assertion can feel like meaninglessness to adults. But my children are fine with it. They don’t need to make every experience matter in some way beyond their present experience of it. When life experiences surprise them or transform them, they spend more time observing than analyzing. I know that part of their perspective is childishness, but part of me also learns from them to love living life in that moment. Which is quite possibly the main goal for visiting Christo’s newest project Floating Piers.

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