Work is complete on the installation “The Floating Piers” by Bulgarian artist Christo. This 4.5-kilometre series of catwalks on Lake Iseo connecting Sulzano to Monte Isola that will be open to the public from June 18 through July 3.
“Access to The Floating Piers is completely free and weather permitting, open 24 hours a day,” Christo said, inviting visitors to “get onto the catwalk without shoes to have the sensation of the walk on water”.
The only thing left now to install is the structure’s iridescent covering, the 70,000 metres of orange-yellow fabric chosen to cover the catwalk, supported by a modular system of floating pontoons formed by 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes.
Iseo is located in Northern Italy and is one of a number of stunning lakes in the Lombardy region. Situated close to Verona and Venice, what an amazing road trip that would make this summer! (we’re thinking Cannes, Nice, Genoa, Milan, Iseo, Verona & Venice, right Ioana?)
Initial projections estimate that the installation will bring 49 million euros in revenue to Lake Iseo, nearly three million euros a day, during its run. Hotel reservations are already up by 80% and about 250,000 tourists are expected.
Who is Christo?
Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude, were a married couple who created environmental works of art. Christo and Jeanne-Claude were born on the same day, June 13, 1935; Christo in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, and Jeanne-Claude in Morocco. They first met in Paris in October 1958. They then fell in love by creating art work together.
Their works include the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris, the 24-mile (39 km)-long artwork called Running Fence in Sonoma and Marin counties in California, and The Gates in New York City’s Central Park.
Credit was given to “Christo” only, until 1994, when the outdoor works and large indoor installations were retroactively credited to “Christo and Jeanne-Claude”. They flew in separate planes: in case one crashed, the other could continue their work.
Jeanne-Claude died, aged 74, on November 18, 2009, from complications of a brain aneurysm.
Although their work is visually impressive and often controversial as a result of its scale, the artists have repeatedly denied that their projects contain any deeper meaning than their immediate aesthetic impact. The purpose of their art, they contend, is simply to create works of art for joy and beauty and to create new ways of seeing familiar landscapes.
To his critics Christo replies, “I am an artist, and I have to have courage … Do you know that I don’t have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they’re finished. Only the preparatory drawings, and collages are left, giving my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.”