Lauren, Miles (wife, 4.5 month-old son) and I met friends Jeanette and Ben in Central Park to see "The Gates." For those of you outside of New York, "The Gates" is a mega installation, by artists (and spouses) Christo and Jeanne-Claude, of orange quasi curtains/banners arranged throughout the entirety of Central Park. According to the New York Times, the project "has required more than 1 million square feet of vinyl and 5,300 tons of steel, arrayed along 23 miles of footpaths throughout the park at a cost (borne exclusively by the artists) of $20 million."
For those of you in or near New York: go. No matter what you think of the work specifically or of public art in general, you can't help but be impressed by the sheer scale of the project. And once you see everyone in the park marveling and talking about the work, or just using the event as an excuse to go out and socialize, you'll tangibly appreciate why public art can be important and powerful. My own photography skills won't do justice to the installation, but a couple of my photos should at least add some personal context.
Here's a snap of Lauren, Miles and Jeanette taken near the 72nd St and Central Park West entrance to the park:
and here's another photo where I tried to convey the scale of the work. In your mind, you'll need to extrapolate these flags winding up, down and around the entire park (3 miles from north to south, and about a half mile from east to west).
The "exhibit" will only be up for two weeks. Anyone who can go should do so, even if just for a few minutes. I do think it will end up being an important bit of New York City history.