Christo's Yellow Brick Road
More than 1.5 million people got their chance to walk on water last month. That's because the artist Christo constructed golden floating piers on Italy's Lake Iseo, between Milan and Venice. The collaboration with his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, was a massive artistic endeavor involving more than 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, hoisted by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes. The piers undulated with the water.
The public installation was open to the public for free for 16 days, June 18 through July 3. It allowed visitors the opportunity to walk from Sulzano to Monte Isola and the island of San Paolo -- a trip of about 3 kilometers. Christo and Jeanne-Claude had envisioned the project more than 25 years ago. It was paid for entirely by the sale of Christo's artwork, offering attendees an authentic experience rather than one infiltrated by sponsorship or grants.
Closer to home, Christo has a proposed project in Colorado. "Over the River" is a temporary work of art in which he plans to suspend 5.9 miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels high above the Arkansas River along a 42-mile stretch of the river between Salida and Cañon City in south-central Colorado. It's slated for 2017, but currently pending because of litigation. Either way, we love the way he brings art into the natural elements and makes it accessible for everyone. That's a design aesthetic we can stand on.