Christo at Guy Pieters Gallery by Professor Dr. Anton van der Geld

Christo with his Paris Projects visiting Knokke

Gallery Owner Guy Pieters received the versatile American artist Christo in his Gallery in August. Guy Pieters is widely known in the art world of Belgium and far beyond. He is a jovial and energetic person who is fascinated by the world of art. He has a strong intuition for discovering talents in modern art and he and his amiable wife Linda have all the ingredients for success and happiness in life. They always face the unexpected together and that makes their life so exciting and meaningful.

Guy and Linda Pieters have leading art galleries in Sint-Martens-Latem, Knokke and in Saint-Tropez, where they welcome visitors with their expert team of employees.

Christo at Guy Pieters Gallery

Guy and Linda Pieters gave Christo a warm welcome in their Gallery in Knokke. The American artist, together with his deceased partner Jeanne-Claude, has a great reputation in the world of art and has packaging art as specialty.

It was a fascinating exhibition in Knokke, visited by numerous people from home and abroad. Many works of art by Christo were on display, particularly Parisian projects such as the wrapping of Pont Neuf. The center of attention was the sketch of the Arc de Triomphe, wrapped by Christo.

Christo about the Arc de Triomphe

The sketch of his new Parisian project shows the detailed way in which Christo works. He is already carefully preparing himself for the work that awaits him in France. Christo has in fact received permission from the authorities to pack the Arc de Triomphe in 2020 from September 19 till October 4. To achieve that, he needs a lot of material: 25,000 square meters of silver-blue, recyclable plastic and a lot of red rope. In 2020, an exhibition by him and his Jeanne-Claude will also be on display in the Centre Pompidou Museum in Paris. It is the first time since her death in 2009 that he will be back in Paris, where they lived together until the mid-sixties and then settled in New York. From 1961 they worked together as an artist duo under the name ‘Christo & Jeanne-Claude’.

Christo was born in Bulgaria, his father was a scientist and his mother secretary of the Academy of Fine Arts in Sophia. He studied at the Academy in Vienna and went to Paris. There he met Jeanne-Claude, who was then studying philosophy and Latin. Jeanne-Claude, daughter of a general, is described as a dynamic, extroverted woman — full of ideas — who stood out for her lush red hair. She herself always said she had become an artist out of her love for Christo: ‘If he had been a dentist, I would have become a dentist.’

The Environmental Art by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

The artistic strategy of the duo is to ‘dress up’ large, striking buildings or landscapes with fabric. Packing them leads to abstracting those objects. When you see those packed buildings and landscapes, they suddenly look different. The object has not only been given a different shape, but also a different appearance. As a result, people start looking at those objects ‘with different eyes’. And that of course is always the goal of art: to reveal, to make visible what is hidden. In that respect are Christo and Jeanne-Claude with their wrapping art real innovators in the world of art. They enable us to look around with new eyes in the environment in which we live. That means being active in the psychological field: observing and discovering. That means being active in an aesthetic sense: discovering the beauty of something.

All in all, Christo is an artist who knows how to touch us with his specific view of the world. His art takes us out of everyday life and brings us back to our essence. In this way many people can enjoy the art of packaging, the art of living by Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

The passion of Guy and Linda Pieters

Guy Pieters has become a household name in the art world. He is an autodidactic art dealer, who has gradually immersed himself in art. His roots lie in the picturesque village of Sint-Martens-Latem, where the cove of the sea used to be. For him it is a magical village, with which he has made a true artistic friendship.

His statement is typical: ‘If I had not been born in that village, I would not have become an art dealer.’ For him, being an art dealer is not so much a profession, but a passion that he shares with Linda, his muse. He dares to follow and fulfill his dreams. He is a natural talent in the field of life and art, who manages to achieve a great deal with self-discipline and perseverance. He always managed to expand his gallery at home and abroad.

Guy Pieters‘ Gallery received a great name recognition, with exhibitions from, amongst others, Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Arman, Félix Labisse and Paul Delvaux. This way Guy Pieters’ Gallery reached the top of the European and international art world. The Gallery exhibits and represents major international artists such as Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Andy Warhol, Roger Raveel, Yves Klein, Wim Delvoye, Jan Fabre and Gilbert & George, Arman.

It was a real pleasure to visit the exhibition together with the editor-in-chief of Diplomatic World, Barbara Dietrich, and to speak with artist Christo and with Guy and Linda Pieters.

Prof. Anton van der Geld, president of the BeNeLux-University Foundation.