Their last act was “Barrels and the Mastaba” planned by Christo and Jeanne-Claude since 1977 to be performed in the United Arab Emirates. But those plans changed and it was finally performed in London in 2018, nine years after Jeanne-Claude’s death. This project consisted of a 20-meter high mastaba, built with 7,506 barrels of oil stacked together. The 55-gallon barrels were colored to resemble a mosaic.
The London Mastaba was a temporary floating installation that was on display from June 19 to September 9, 2018. It sat on a high-density polyethylene floating platform, supported by 32 anchors, and weighed 600 tons. The work, located in Serpentine Lake in London’s Hyde Park, was carried out with 7,506 barrels stacked, painted red, blue, purple and white, and anchored to a floating platform.
Christo Vladimirov Javacheff was born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria on June 13, 1935, and died in New York on May 31, 2020. He had a long relationship with Jeanne-Claude who was born in Casablanca, Morocco on June 13, 1935, until his death on November 18, 2009. Born on the same day in Bulgaria and Morocco, respectively, the couple met and married in Paris in the late 1950s. Both were a couple of artists who made environmental art installations. These are characterized by the use of fabric to c giant buildings or cover large public areas.
The first of their large installations was the “5,600 Cubicmeter Package” from 1968. During that year Christo and Jeanne-Claude had the opportunity to participate in Documenta 4 in Kassel, Germany where they decided to build a 5,600 cubic meter tube that would be suspended by cranes and would be visible at a distance of 25 kilometers. Using the two largest cranes in Europe, the project finally became a reality. The pipe package costing US$ 70,000 remained there for two months.
In 1972 the “Valley Curtain” project led them to place a 400 m long cloth stretched across the Gap Rifle, a valley in the Rocky Mountains, near Rifle, Colorado. The project required 14,000 m² of cloth to be hung on a steel cable, which was attached to metal bars fixed in concrete on each slope. For this project, they had to raise the high amount of US$400,000.