On May 31st, 2020, the artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, better known simply as Christo, passed away at home in New York at the age of 84. Immediately after, some people posed the question “if all your art is temporary, what can you leave behind?” Still, it’s all but certain that Christo’s legacy will long outlast the temporary large-scale installations he created with his wife and collaborator, Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009. That’s what photography is for — and Christo documented many of their works himself. But ultimately, as far as they’re concerned, permanence is inconsequential.

Iconic installation artist Christo, who passed away late last month.
Iconic installation artist Christo, who passed away late last month.

“I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain,” Christo said.

Aerial view of Christo's
Aerial view of Christo’s

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects dramatically transformed the most unexpected public places, often in surprising ways. Take “Wrapped Reichstag,” for

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