The Gates

actually, this was the only gate we found whose curtain was wrapped about its architrave

I just didn't get it. Barry and I went to see Christo and Jeanne-Claude's project for Central Park, The Gates, this afternoon, well, first because it was there and also because we expected there would be a great deal of excitement on the first day of its display. We also thought we'd run into a lot of friends.

It was there, and apparently it was opened this morning in the minutes around 8:30 as scheduled. But I think I was surprised that I didn't find it at least a little exciting, rather only very mildly diverting. Nor did it seem to inspire the kind of holiday cheer I had expected within the huge crowds which had turned out to see it, crowds found walking through and about [thousands?] of saffron-colored "gates" which lined almost every pedestrian path in the park (the Rambles and other "wild" areas were left alone). And there were no friends in sight, as if they all knew better.

The Reichstag thing I liked a lot, even if I didn't get to see it.

Anyway, I guess $20 million just doesn't buy what it used to.

Perhaps striking the right note for the day, we overheard one young woman, as we passed her and her friend on our way up to Belvedere castle, talking about the miles of saffron nylon on display: "Yeah, I'd make a skirt out of the stuff."

at the "Command Center," while our small crowd gathered on the other side of the vehicle, and as their intense conversation with a bunch of male authority figures in suits wound down, the pair kept pointing to the car; did they want to get rid of it or keep it?

Halfway through our trek today we were passing the Loeb Boat House and the parking lot across the path from its door when I spotted a very large limousine being escorted into the lot. I'm a car fanatic, so identifying a $350,000 long-wheelbase Maybach 62 in a blessedly-car-free (temporarily) Central Park was no problem. We stood around until we could spot the back-seat occupants and, not surprisingly, they turned out to be Christo and Jeanne-Claude. I have to assume that their use of the car was a condition of a patron's generosity to the project.

Oh yes, a final touch of another local color: Barry spotted a Duane Reade bag inside on the floor in the rear.

My friend brought me back a little swatch of saffron and said that all you had to do was go and ask the gate keepers and they would give you one. I told her it was only a matter of time before somebody went and got enough of the little squares to make a shirt and offer it on ebay or as least as an artist project or something.

We saw people handing out the pieces of cloth; it seemed like a surrepticious exchange. Guess I didn't think enough of the occasion to ask, but I probably shoulda. I'd love a saffron shirt.

walking through the gates, i couldn't help but think that all of that heavy nylon cloth could be put to much better use if it were made into jackets or sleeping bags or shelters for the homeless - maybe even a Saffron City. i wonder what the recycling plans for the materials are...

I agree (although I have not seen the installation in person) that it seems a bit blah. Actually, to me it seems too quaint, even theme park-like.

I went there with my friends on the opening day. After walking for several miles we managed to compile around 20 saffron swatches. I've heard that there are only 1 million swatches to distribute. I also have been observing its sales on eBay. Its seems like art aficionados not from New York are willing to pay up to $80.00 for 2 swatches. My advice to you? Sell'em while they're hot!

I believe that "the world is too much with us" and the reason most of us criticize this piece of art is because we either judge it based on the material rather than the genius behind the concept or because we are too involved in our daily activities( especially in manhattan) to really think about the beauty of this creation. If you've visited The Gates as I have, you will definitely notice the stunning contrast between the artificial saffron and the natural green, gray, and brown of central park. It is not hard to appreciate the beauty of this art. All you have to do is not think about about money and appointments and people, and for just ten minutes you may see what the artist envisioned when he created this.

look,the gates are pretty fresh.although the thought of it is kind of weak,on a whole it is such a massive peice of art.
it commands attention,and leads one to a conclusion,which is what art is supposed to do.
the relationship between pathways and the gates exists in the contrast of the path itself.a surface which moves along curves(fluid) ,but is a static surface.The Gates ( i feel) reflect this in the respect of the frames(static) and the billowing cloth(fluid).
these are pretty dope in person,not to just stand and look at ,but moving thru them.smoking ,drinking rum ,they arent joking,the people make the art by being there,fuck the price tag ,and munny side i got nothing to do with that.
i was in nyc for a messenger race this weekend ,and that made it all the more interesting.say it isnt fresh after balling on a fixed gear @ 25 mph through an instellation.

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Published on February 13, 2005 12:38 AM.

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