Christo’s canopies over the Arkansas River controversy

In the news for the past several days they have been talking about the artist Christo putting up his canopies over part of the Arkansas River. The Federal Government has giving him the go ahead on his art project “over the river”. You can read more about this on the Denver Post’s website at
This goes directly with our class discussions on minimal art, land art, and installation art. These canopies once finished would probably considered a part of all three of these categories. It would fit into minimal art because the materials used have to be mass produced in a factory somewhere and not directly hand made by the artist. It also would have the features of repetitiveness, space relationship with its viewer, rectangular shape, and no self expression of the artist as to who he is. It would also make the category of land art because it is being installed directly onto the land itself and would be site-specific. Having a direct relationship to its natural/land surroundings. It would also be installation art because it has to be installed outside over the river. Because of its permanence I’m not sure if it would be more so considered land art due to the fact that the installation won’t be taken down.
Many people disagree with this even being “art” saying that it is basically littering and destroying its environment. There are people who would not oppose it if it did not have an affect on the environment.  The proponents of this piece say that it will have minimum affects on the environment and wildlife but the opponents are calling the canopies “rags” while emphasizing the environmental harm of it.
I am a fine arts major and would love to see this piece put up in all it’s glory and beauty. I think it would be a beautiful piece like nothing ever made before. But I am also for preserving our environment and nature. I would have to see the facts on its impacts to th environment and wildlife before I could say I was pro or con for sure. I know as an artist I want to see it and would love to have it made in a public place where it could never be taken down, charged to see, or closed off to the public. But as someone who wants the environment and nature to be preserved for my children and grandchildren to be able to see like I have always seen it. I’m very torn because my focus is photography and my passion is shooting wildlife and if this piece disturbed my work and the subjects of my work then I would be heartbroken about it. But as an artist I want to see it! Ugh…

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