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img347Before you head off for the Grand Canyon consider going to a small town called Rifle in Colorado, and imagine “seeing” this great “performance”, a temporary changed view of a landscape, before your very eyes. You might have seen it in 1972 when the Bulgarian born artist Christo created his so called Valley Curtain, the artist’s first large scale American work.

Christo’s statement about his visionary art in a nut shell: “I am an artist, and I have to have courage. Do you know that I don’t have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they’re finished. Only the preparatory drawings, and collages are left, giving my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.” (source wikipedia )

Two documentary nonfiction film making brothers Albert and David Maysles from New York City captured the Valley Curtain event on film and put it on video, winning a 1974 Academy Award Nomination for “Best Documentary Short”. The above image is the front cover of this video. The story, not only of the Curtain Project, but also of the filming is fascinating and so is the tape. Over the years the two filmmakers would captured five more projects by Christo and his wife Jeanne Claude on film. All of the films are now also available on DVD.

Maysles Films is a company that has kept an eye on the art ball with great success,and is also a company deeply engaged in human issues. This can be observed by looking at the topics covered in their films: From Psychiatry in Russia (1955) to Journey to Jerusalem (1968) and many others since. Most if not all of the films are now also available on DVD.

Visit Maysles Brothers’ website to realize the enormous educational impact of their work. What a superb art reference source! I did not know about this until this video came into my hands. Kudos! A heartfelt Thank You to the Maysles Staff!

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