Here's a <quazi> review:
Young Critics See 'The Gates' and Offer Their Reviews: Mixed
By Julie Salamon
Published: February 17, 2005 - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
Photo: Ruby Washington/The New York Times - A student records impressions of "The Gates."
Yesterday morning, unusually balmy for February, the gentle slopes north of the Delacorte Theater in Central Park resembled a giant schoolyard. Swarms of students were led to "The Gates" by their teachers, to observe, to draw, to meditate - and in many cases to pontificate - on the meaning of art and nature.
For Kate Rosenberg, 9, a third-grade student at Rodeph Sholom, a private school on the Upper West Side, the saffron-colored gates dreamed up by the artist Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, have altered her vision of Central Park. "Before I didn't really look at the park," she said. "I didn't see how beautiful it is.
"These gates, and there are billions of them, make me feel I will not look at the park the same way again."
There are actually 7,532 gates spread along 23 miles of the park's pathways - not quite billions, but more than enough to loom large in a child's imagination. And in the opinion of some children, far too many. Perhaps especially in New York, it is never too soon to become a critic. Many youngsters wondered if this was art at all, and if it was, did it have to cost $21 million?
"They just wasted their money on nothing," declared Ikim Powell, 10, who attends P.S. 368 in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. "They should at least have paintings behind them."
His classmate, Tyre Brooks, felt "The Gates" was an unnecessary artificial imposition on the park's natural beauty. "Now it looks like a stage, like on wrestling," he said. "I just want to ride my bike and play. I'd like to come back to the park when the flags aren't here. They look cheap."
But another student from P.S. 368, Tyquam Nimmons, on his first visit to Central Park, disagreed. "It is artistic," he said. "There are a lot of them all around, and they're the same color and they give me a good feeling." He was about to elaborate but instead ran off to catch a football being tossed around by a group from his school.
Martha Epstein, a Rodeph Sholom third-grader, sitting with her classmates on a hill made of boulders, had just finished a sketch of one of the gates. "This is about my millionth time seeing 'The Gates,' " she sighed. She said she was not much impressed on her first visit last weekend with her family, right after the 116,389 miles of saffron fabric were unfurled. "It was really crowded and I didn't like the orange," she said. "I wished it was green, a park color."
Subsequent visits have somewhat altered her view. "I don't like the look of them but I like the way everybody is at the park and happy," she said.
Lucinda Gresswell brought her two children to New York from London for their midterm break, in part because the Christo gates would be up. In the 1970's, Ms. Gresswell's father had bought a Christo drawing of either a pyramid or a sphinx, she could not remember which. So two weeks ago she booked a flight.
Her 11-year-old son, Samuel Glanville, had no doubt that the gates were art. "Art is Fauvism, Pointillism, abstract," he said, looking at rows of pleated nylon fabric floating slightly at the whiff of a breeze. "This is Christo - is that his name, I forget? - this is his art, his own interpretation."
Samuel liked knowing that "The Gates" would be on view for only two weeks. "Like all art, if it's always there it doesn't feel so special," he said, with the savvy of a shrewd museum director. "It's like a special Matisse show at a museum. You feel lucky if you get to see it."
For his 9-year-old sister, Bella, on her first visit to New York, confronting "The Gates" was another in a series of crucial discoveries: the brilliant lights of Times Square, and Century 21, the bargain store near ground zero, where Bella acquired the very cool shirt she was wearing.
She was not as certain as her brother of the artistic merit of the gates. "Well, yeah," she said, when asked if they were art. Then, she amended. "Not so much," she said. "They're kind of like flags. I prefer messy art, like blobs."
But she was happy that Christo's project helped lure her family to Central Park, where she and Samuel worked up a healthy glow climbing on the rocks. "It wouldn't be too ordinary even without the flags," she said. "Most parks have grass and trees, not rocks. In England, unless it's a heath, you wouldn't have big rocks and stones."
Sean Springer, a student from the Rhode Island School of Design on leave to work as a volunteer for "The Gates," said he had learned from the school groups wandering through. "There was an English class writing about their feelings, and I was wondering about the connections between literature and this work," he said. "My opinion is the art makes a poetic statement, and they said art is a form of poetry."
Mr. Springer helped install "The Gates," will help take it down, and stands at the ready to untangle fabric with a pole capped by a tennis ball. He also answers questions and hands out swatches of the nylon saffron fabric to passers-by. "That's one thing that's the same for kids and adults," he said. "If they know about the swatches, they want them."
:thmbup: Nothing's better than the words from the mouths of babes.