Funny, no seems to get bent out of shape when Christo sells his work directly to collectors instead of going through a dealer, as the Wall Street Journal’s Kelly Crow illustrates in her long piece about Christo’s first large scale project — covering the Arkansas River — since the death of his wife and partner, Jean-Claude:
Arguably the biggest speech Christo made all week took place the following day at Palettes, an airy restaurant inside the Denver Art Museum. A group of around 30 curators and collectors huddled around a long table. Several of them have bought some of the preparatory drawings and collages Christo makes for each project.
These sales to collectors have always been crucial in funding the artist’s large-scale projects. Unlike many major artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude brokered their art sales themselves, rather than relying on a gallery. Small, 8-by-10-inch versions of the drawings start at $50,000 and large or early pieces can sell for more than $1 million. Christo also shuns corporate sponsors. (He insisted that AT&T add a disclaimer disassociating him and Jeanne-Claude from the company’s recent commercial showing orange fabric cascading down monuments, Christo-style.)
Christo v. Colorado (Wall Street Journal)