An artist who, with his partner Jeanne-Claude, spent their careers redefining the idea of what public sculpture and site specific installation could be.
June 18 through July 3 2016, Italy’s Lake Iseo was reimagined by Christo with his public installation ‘The Floating Pier’, pictured above.
The work is a collection of floating docking systems, covered with over 100,000 square meters of shimmering fabric arranged to sit above the surface of the water, moving as the water did.
Visitors were able to experience the work of art by walking on it from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo, which was framed by The Floating Piers. The mountains surrounding the lake offered a bird’s-eye view of The Floating Piers, exposing unnoticed angles and altering perspectives.
Lake Iseo is located 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice.
Like all projects by Christo, The ‘Floating Piers’ was completely free to the public. Christo stated “There were no tickets, no openings, no reservations and no owners. The Floating Piers were an extension of the street and belonged to everyone.”
A 3-kilometer-long walkway was created as The Floating Piers extended across the water of Lake Iseo. The piers were 16 meters wide and approximately 35 centimeters high with sloping sides. The fabric continued along 2.5 kilometers of pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio.
“Those who experienced The Floating Piers felt like they were walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale,” said Christo. “The light and water transformed the bright fabric to shades of red and gold throughout the sixteen days.”
The project was financed completely by the artist through the selling of his working drawings/blueprints for the installation. This is how the artist financed every one of his projects.
The Floating Piers was first conceived by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1970. It was Christo’s first large-scale project since Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009.
Above: The Piers before they were covered!