Christo has reportedly abandoned a mammoth public art project he conceived over 20 years ago, to avoid benefitting Trump. According to the New York Times the 81-year-old artist will walk away from Over the River, a proposed art piece that would have seen him drape nearly six miles of silver translucent fabric over the Arkansas River in Colorado, US.
In an interview with the New York Times, Christo explained that he was ditching the project in an attempt to avoid helping Trump. “I came from a Communist country. 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.”
The project has been opposed and fought in several court cases as locals believed it would endanger wildlife, however the artist was successful in each case. On a website dedicated to the project, it states that after five years of legal arguments Christo decided to “no longer wait on the outcome and devote all of his energy, time and resources into the realisation of The Mastaba” a project in Abu Dhabi. He only added his political reasons in his interview with the NYT.
He had apparently spent approximately $15m on the Over the River project so far and was expecting to spend $50m more. He is known for entirely self-funding his epic scale public artworks. Last year Christo funded and built The Floating Piers, a pedestrian bridge made from 100,000sq m of yellow fabric, across Italy’s Lake Iseo.
Over the River would have been his largest US art project yet.