Artist Christo Will Wrap White House Roof In Corn Silk To Honor Donald Trump
Says his new project, “Golden Crown of Power,” is small way to thank “a true patron of the arts”
The 81-year-old Bulgarian artist, Christo, best known for his ambitious, large-scale installations, is about to begin one of the most significant projects of his celebrated career — covering the roof of The White House in corn silk as a tribute to a man he calls, “an acknowledged hero of the art world.”
“This is perhaps the greatest honor of my life,” said the artist from his winter home in southern Italy. “Having a chance to honor one of the great patrons of the arts by topping his new home in representative corn silk is my chance to say thank you — thank you, Mr. President, for helping the world better understand the vital importance of the arts.”
Christo is perhaps most famous for his 2005 “Gates” installation in New York City’s Central Park — 7,503 orange tapestry sheets draped over acres of meandering walkways. All of Christo’s projects, however, celebrate freedom, an important theme for a man who fled a communist regime when he was young.
“My own history with an authoritarian government that suppressed free expression in all its forms is why this White House project, which I’m calling the “Golden Crown of Power,” is such an exciting opportunity for me,” explained Christo. “By covering the roof with corn silk, I’m saying that this president would never let power go to his head, never defund the artistic disciplines that are so important to the creative heart and soul of this democratic nation that has always been the envy of the world.”
When asked if he fully understood the regressive policies of the Trump administration, which would, contrary to Christo’s contentions, strip the arts and sciences of all critical funding, the feisty octogenarian artist was adamant.
“Do not tell me that Mr. Trump is not an art lover! This is a man who values art so intensely, he has turned his own hair into a living sculpture. This is a president who so reveres the work of artists, he paid handsomely for a 6-foot portrait of himself — and put it front and center in the boardroom of one of his golf courses. No one does that from personal ego — this is the conduct of a true benefactor of the arts, acting from a deep sense of admiration and respect for the painter’s craft!”
It is not known exactly when Christo will begin “Golden Crown of Power,” but it will probably be installed in the fall of 2017 at the peak of the harvest season to guarantee an ample supply of corn silk.
“I estimate we’ll need about 28 miles of braided silk to fully cover the White House roof,” said Christo, “more if President Trump experiments with a longer hairstyle between now and harvesting time.”
Typically, Christo’s installations remain up for a few weeks before they are permanently dismantled. He adds that four nests of fortified corn silk will be erected in the corners of the White House roof to accommodate Secret Service snipers. “I was told by the president’s people that while art is important, security comes first. Of course, I understand.”
Thank you for reading.