Plastics News doesn't get to write about fine art very often, but Christo was a prominent exception. He's the Bulgarian-born artist best known for wrapping buildings, bridges and outdoor spaces in plastic.
Christo died May 31 at his home in New York City.
Steve Toloken wrote our last big Christo feature in 2016, about "The Floating Piers," a bridge made of 200,000 interlocked floating high density polyethylene cubes on Italy's Lake Iseo.
But I'll always associate Christo with "The Gates," a temporary display of 7,500 gates in New York's Central Park in 2005. Media coverage at the time described the gates as steel, but we discovered that they were actually PVC profiles.
By the numbers, the project contained 750,000 pounds of PVC, 75,000 pounds of nylon fabric and 10,000 pounds each of high-impact polystyrene and polypropylene. We know because it was all recycled in Nazareth, Pa.
Recycling everything was critical, because the artists did not want any stray gates to outlive the project. "We don't want to see Son of The Gates anywhere," recycling consultant Celeste Johnson told our Angie DeRosa at the time.