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Sad news to start off the day with. Late yesterday, it was reported that Jeanne-Claude, the French artist who was married to and collaborated with Christo on a wide-variety of massive projects that largely involved huge installations, like “The Umbrellas” in Japan and “The Gates” in New York’s Central Park, has passed away due to complications from a ruptured brain aneurysm. Although frequently controversial, the pair showed incredible perseverance with their projects against what always seemed like insurmountable odds, and in the end were often rewarded with praise, even if not everyone passing by fully understood what they were going for (it wouldn’t seem like it, but for some nice remembrances, check out their “Common Errors” page and read through the pages of misconceptions). On the artists’ site, Christo has said the couple’s work will continue, which we can assume he’s referring to their planned work in the UAE and in Colorado. The Washington Post has put together this slideshow, taking a look at Jean-Claude’s life. Here’s a bit from the NY Daily News about Michael Bloomberg‘s response:

Mayor Bloomberg said Thursday he offered his condolences to Christo in a phone call. He praised them as visionaries who brightened the city and showed the world how art can transform an everyday view into something magical.

“It gave New Yorkers a whole different view of the city, of themselves. It helped tourism, but more than anything else, it expanded our minds and gave all of us for a number of days a chance to think about how big the world is, and Jean-Claude and Christo have really always thought bigger than the rest of us,” Bloomberg said.