World-famous artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude are best known for "The Gates," a sprawling public-art project where bright-orange girders were erected in mid-winter Central Park. But these impassioned visionaries have been hard at work on large-scale art making for over 30 years. This series of documentaries by renowned filmmakers Albert and David Maysles depicts the creative process and fraught logistics behind works like "Valley Curtain" and "Umbrellas," as well as the impact of their unique collaborations on observers, locals, and the art world.
These remarkable short films by the Maysles brothers ("Gardens") highlight the transformative aesthetic and magical allure of such grandiose "wrapping" projects as "Islands," in which the artists turned a Florida island chain into a mass of floating pink water lilies. Jeanne-Clause and Christo emerge as visionaries dedicated to realizing art's potential to change the way we view landscape as well as architectural monuments. The Maysles also chronicle the artists' sometimes emotionally charged skirmishes with local bureaucrats and conservationists. Beauty on an epic scale!