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Arts and Culture

Meet Christo, the artist who covered Miami's islands in hot-pink skirts 35 years ago

Meet Christo, the artist who covered Miami's islands in hot-pink skirts 35 years ago

Thirty-five years ago, the islands dotting Miami’s Biscayne Bay wore hot-pink skirts.

On May 7, 1983, as Miami struggled with cocaine trafficking and gun violence, married artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude unveiled their epic project, titled “Surrounded Islands,” to the public. There on the water, glowing luminously pink under the South Florida sun, were 11 transformed islands, each dressed with thousands of yards of polypropylene fabric.

That ambitious project, which cost $3.1 million and required 600,000-plus meters of fabric and more than 400 assistants, transfixed Miami drivers and national press for two weeks. These floating rafts of pink invited TV news crews and...

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