i'm sure christos considers that part of the piece.
i often say that my relationship with a painting ends when i finish it. from then on, it is all about the relationship between the work and the viewers. whatever nature that relationship takes is good, no matter if it is awe or confusion, indifference or interpretation. a story on NPR yesterday attributed similar feelings to christo and jeanne-claude. for them, it is about the planning and building. then they like to sit back and watch people interact with it. i am not certain that they would be comfortable with vandalism, but i am certain that they would see it as an integral part of the life of the work.
i gave a painting to a fellow artist once. he is a surrealist. he nailed a smaller painting of his own to the canvas (it was stretched on a solid piece of plywood). i loved it.
these are responding to a post questioning the cost and validity of the project:
without the project, there would be no 20 million. all of it is raised by selling his drawings and such that are directly related to the work.
it really pisses me off when people say we should forego positive things like public art or space exploration to pay for other needs. what we should forego are destructive things, like wars and SUVs. public art is absolutely necessary to the soul of a culture. if anything, we should spend more not less on the arts.
anyway, what i am getting at is that there is plenty of money to feed the world, end pollution, cure major diseases, etc, if we all just stop killing each other. if we kill of all the positive things about humanity to pay for simple survival, when half of our resources are devoted to war, we become nothing but warriors. i'm sorry, but i cannot support that. politicians talk about making hard choices. i submit that they are taking the easy way out instead. it's a lot easier to neglect the poor than it is to cut off the powerful.
i also believe that christo and jeanne claude have made and will continue to make a far more lasting impact than 16 days. the physical life of the gates is only 16 days, but its effects will last much longer.