Time Out NY, Gates of Hell.pdf - Booklyn Artists Alliance

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Time Out NY, Gates of Hell.pdf - Booklyn Artists Alliance

Time Out New York / Issue 544: March 2–8, 2006Gates of hellDisillusioned disciples of Christo rebel in a new chapbookCourtesy of BooklynAlthough Jean-Claude and Christo’s The Gates left Central Park a year ago, its memorylingers on—and not always in a positive way. Take for instance Slaves of Christo, alimited-edition chapbook published by the Booklyn Artists Alliance and written by JuliaHall and Chrissy Leggio. The Philadelphia art students came to New York to work onThe Gates along with some 600 other Christo enthusiasts.In the book, they portray the couple behind the project as aloof and arrogant overlordswho spent their time driving around in the heated comfort of a Maybach limousine, whiletheir minions labored in the February cold.“It was kind of depressing when I realized how much of a businessman Christo is,” Hallsays. “He wasn’t a hands-on artist.” Leggio, meanwhile, had problems with the pieceitself. “It was pretty underwhelming compared to some of their other work.”Theirs, however, was the minority view. Indeed, Leggio describes the rest of the crew ashaving a cultlike devotion to the artist. “Everyone there thought the whole thing wasgreat just because it was Christo,” she explains.The authors say that besides a wave now and then from the limo, there was no interactionbetween the artists and the crew—except for an orientation speech at the beginning of theproject and one occasion near the end: Leggio recalls getting in line for what she thought


was lunch, only to learn that it was really Jean-Claude and Christo autographing the veststhey’d designed for workers. “They didn’t shake hands or say thank you,” she says. “All Igot was a Sharpie marker across my back.”—Howard HalleBuy Slaves of Christo (Booklyn, $10) at www.booklyn.org.

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