Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Colorado Curtain
Christo and his wife Jean-Claude (along with their 13-year-old-son) lived in the trashiest apartments in Rifle for most of the two years it took them to hang the Valley Curtain across Rifle Gap. The apartments are still trashy and still lived in, though not by world-famous artists.
I read a lot of negative things about Christo’s proposal to drape the Arkansas River Valley, but even though we knew he was eccentric, if not crazy, to hang a curtain near Rifle, it was a unique experience for those of us who lived here then. Since part of my story about the curtain is something I only tell close friends, maybe I’ll write it and let someone post it for me posthumously (which means it could appear in several decades).
Yes, it was a strange project. But yes, it was also strangely beautiful. We were lucky that he chose our valley. If you want to know what it felt like to live in Rifle then, check out the movie The Dish. Our town was a lot like that town.