Artist Christo faces opposition to Colo project

DENVER (AP) — Installation artist Christo (KRIS'-toh) has said opposition to his planned "Over the River" project on the Arkansas River in Colorado is part of the art, and he welcomes debate over what is appropriate for his displays.

Christo is fighting to string about 6 miles of fabric over sections on a 42-mile stretch of the river. The team hopes to start construction next year and open the exhibit in 2015 for two weeks before dismantling it.

An opposition group, Rags Over the Arkansas River, has filed a lawsuit in federal court, saying the project will be too disruptive to wildlife, traffic, fishing and river rafting businesses. Christo says bring it on.

"We are enjoying that. We are not masochists, but we are enjoying the communication with so many" people, the Bulgarian-born artist said. The 78-year-old artist, who spoke with The Denver Post on Thursday (, spent 26 years fighting to erect 7,503 fabric gates in New York City's Central Park in 2005, and for 32 years before wrapping 178 trees in a Swiss park in 1998. His 1991 "The Umbrellas" project that unfurled 3,100 umbrellas in Japan and California had to wade through several state and federal lawsuits.

Christo has completed 22 of his projects, including wrapping Berlin's Reichstag, draping Australian coastline and surrounding 11 Biscayne Bay islands in pink, shimmering fabric — all at his own cost. He has weathered 37 rejections for his projects over 50 years.

Those tribulations are as much of a reward as the flowering of his grandiose projects, he said. "For many years, all the people are thinking how the work will be beautiful, how the work will be awful," he said. "Basically the work is working in the mind of the people before it physically exists."

Information from: The Denver Post,

Related Headlines

  • Thomas Bangalter, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo

    Daft Punk 'Get Lucky' with Grammy record of year

    Daft Punk's infectiously catchy song "Get Lucky " is the Grammy Awards' record of the year. The mask-wearing electronic music pioneers Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De ... 

  • Pharrell Williams

    Daft Punk wins Grammy album of year

    Daft Punk has won the top honor at Grammy Awards, taking album of the year for "Random Access Memories." The French electronic pioneers capped the night with the win after ... 

  • Colorado River begins flooding Mexican delta

    Colorado River water has begun pouring over a barren delta near the U.S.-Mexico border, the result of a landmark bi-national agreement being celebrated Thursday. The gush of ... 

  • Pharrell Williams

    Daft Punk, Macklemore top left-of-center Grammys

    The Grammy Awards celebrated outcasts and outsiders, lionizing a couple of French robots, white rappers and a country gal espousing gay rights, and a Goth teenager who's ... 

Find your future job here