Mention Christo, or Hristo, here in Bulgaria and its more likely your hearer will think of footballer Hristo Stoichkov than artist Christo Yavashev who died yesterday. Christo managed to escape communist Bulgaria in 1956 so perhaps it’s not that surprising.
I saw some of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s smaller wrapped objects in museums but had never seen one of their large installations until a couple of years ago in London when Christo created the London Mastaba in the Serpentine in Hyde Park to coincide with an exhibition in the Serpentine Gallery.
The London Mastaba was a temporary monumental sculpture made in the shape of a mastaba – an ancient Egyptian style of tomb – from more that 7,500 55 gallon painted barrels. The response was mixed with the Guardian’s reviewer describing it as ‘a gigantic bath toy afloat on tepid waters’, while the Telegraph’s critic described it as a ‘jaw-dropping wonder.’ I loved it. I only had a mobile phone with me on that trip, but here are a few pictures I took at the time. Thank you Christo.