“The Gates” Project for Central Park NYC (2/2005)

In February of 2005 for the span of a few weeks, a large art project was presented to the people of New York City and all of her visitors.  The artists behind the project were Christo and Jeanne-Claude and their masterpiece was entitled “The Gates”.

The project was massive in scope and featured some 7500 “Gates” and they would line what amounted to be 23 miles of the footpaths in Central Park.  As you can see from this slightly distant view, they were tall stands that had a colored cloth between them.

You might not be able to tell from these visuals but these gates were something like 16′ tall.  My guess is that by being this height, even the tallest NYC visitor could easily walk through them without the cloth banner hitting them on the noggin’.

The appeal of visual art is not always something I am myself interested in and while I can agree that this had some coolness factor to it, I had to say that the larger part of me was left with a big “OK so now what?”.  I think I am one of those people that needs their artwork to be a little more defined and tangible in its meaning but I am always willing to keep an open mind to other peoples creative energies.  Sorry for the darker shot, a cloud had blocked the sun just at the moment I snapped.  It happens.

My adventure to this exhibit was primarily to meet my friend who was finally coming into town with a battery of friends of her own to see this stuff.  Finding them on a busy NYC street was probably even more exciting than wandering through the park trying to make some sense of The Gates.  For me at least.  The massive amount of tourists seemed totally into it.  Like I said, I need art to be a little easier to grasp.

In the end I was glad that I opted to come out and visit this because outside in the cold bracing NYC air of winter one could observe the level of kinship we all had with our fellow man and woman.  Tourist and lifelong resident alike, everyone was the same as they wandered the footpaths and discussed whatever came to mind as a result of these Gates.  I was also lucky about the timing since I think that they took them down a couple of days later.  As I said earlier, one of the main objectives of the adventure was to meet my buddy Becca.  We go back as far as the Friendster days and in the world of Social Networking you know that is a long time especially since its no longer the dominant one.  Here is a shot of us at one of the last Gates we wandered through.

The day was clearly too cold for a leather jacket but my slowly building role as music guy found me trying to keep up appearances.  Becca was standing on the raised curb and does not really tower over me at all.  As I see this photo again I can say that while chilly and not my thing in terms of the artistic presentation it was still a good day with friends and that is always worth it.  If you want to learn more about The Gates Project just click the link HERE that brings you over to its NYC.gov page.  It makes for some interesting additional reading.

Official Project Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gates

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