Of course I wanted to see this. Of course I was following the local controversy around the installation. And of course I’ve been thinking about the Park Service…my old heroes, my new heroes. On a personal level, I’m going to support our National Parks with everything I’ve got.
In March, at Hot Springs, AR I’ll be proud to be an official volunteer as writer-in-residence. Who knew that writing about geology, naturalism, society, and architecture was going to be downright…radical…in today’s world. Every single thing I do–even my mild but abiding interest in science seems to have more meaning.
I’ve been on the website looking for more volunteer opportunities. When I was a kid, the Parks were just wondrous acts of preservation and beauty. Turns out, observing anything closely and honestly makes people and institutions able to think for themselves. Thank you, Badlands, Death Valley, et al.
With one dramatic no, a major artist has just escalated the culture world’s war against Donald J. Trump.
For more than 20 years, the artist Christo has worked tirelessly and spent $15 million of his own money to create a vast public artwork in Colorado that would draw thousands of tourists and rival the ambition of “The Gates,” the saffron transformation of Central Park that made him and Jeanne-Claude, his collaborator and wife, two of the most talked-about artists of their generation.
But Christo said this week that he had decided to walk away from the Colorado project — a silvery canopy suspended temporarily over 42 miles of the Arkansas River — because the terrain, federally owned, has a new landlord he refuses to have anything to do with: President Trump.
His decision is by far the most visible — and costly — protest of the new administration from within the art world, whose dependence on ultra-wealthy and sometimes politically conservative collectors has tended to inhibit galleries, museums and artists from the kind of full-throated public disavowal of Mr. Trump expressed by some other segments of the creative world.