Christo Vladimirov Javacheff was born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria and showed artistic promise from a very young age. Christo studied art at the Sofia Academy until 1956. He moved to Prague in 1957 and it is from there that he escaped into the west, settling at first in Paris. In 1958, Christo met Jeanne-Claude, and would marry her two years later. Soon after, the two became became artistic partners. The couple moved to and settled in New York in 1964. Christo became a citizen, in 1973 after 17 years of being stateless.
Soon after arriving in New York, Christo began to design storefronts, and sold both drawings and prints of his designs. The major success of these designs helped to finance many major artworks and installations, allowing Christo to rise in fame. Jeanne-Claude was also a major part of the creative process for all of these works, however, the two decided to sign the works with just “Christo” until 1994.