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L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped. © Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Photographed by Aurelien Chen

The original building was built on a hill, as a monument to glory, as a gate to Paris. Few years later, surroundings streets were created to offer multiple urban perspectives on this monument, which became a true urban landmark.

Designed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Photographed by Aurelien Chen

Time passing by, the monument became the background of Paris postcards, a background in our daily life. As monumental as it might be, it slightly disappeared.

By wrapping the monument, the artists reveal back its presence in the cityscape of Paris, reminding its original purpose. It reveals the urbanism of the city, with urban axis that converge on one monument.

That is why I chose, on purpose, not to photograph this work of art as a "building"; these photographs do not focus on the "object".

It remains in the background. This series is more about urban / street photography than pure architecture photography. I wanted to express the presence of this work of art in the cityscape, in Parisians daily life.

That is also why these photographs were very slightly edited. I wanted them to be "raw", expressing the reality of this work of art in the city. For the same reason, the foreground is often messy, with elements that we would normally be hidden or avoided in architectural photography: trash bins, vehicles, construction sites, etc. But these elements compose typical Parisians daily life surroundings : a local "taxi", some pigeons in front of an empty café under the rain, etc.

For the same reason, I chose to photograph on a rainy day: Paris sky is often grey, and so are its roofs. I believe the artists have imagined this unique moment when the work of art would become one unique element with the white/grey sky of Paris.


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