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Christo: Environmental Artworks

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Born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff in Bulgaria in 1935, he escaped to Vienna from the Soviet Union in 1956 by hiding in a freight car carrying medical supplies. He moved to Paris in 1958, where he made a living by painting portraits and met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, who became his wife. Throughout their careers, the two collaborated in developing ambitious projects that often took decades to complete, yet were displayed only for weeks or months. After Jeanne-Claude’s death in 2009, Christo pressed on with their planned projects. While their works spanned the globe, the two had a deep affinity for the UAE. “Myself and Jeanne-Claude began visiting here in 1979, and we have a specific relationship with this country that can never be replicated anywhere else,” he told to a newspaper in 2016. They had a very strong creative response to the landscape, especially to the deserts in the western region.

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