Ai Weiwei: Personal Art as Public Art



Last September in London, two days after we arrived for vacation, Ai Weiwei and fellow artist Anish Kapoor (known in America for his Cloud Gate sculpture, or “The Bean,” in Chicago) led an eight-mile walk from the Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly to Kapoor’s artwork “Orbit” in Olympic Park at Stratford. The refugee problem seemed to have suddenly exploded upon Europe, and the two artists believed they had to make a statement in support of the refugees. They were joined by about 100 fellow marchers and, according to The Guardian, about as many journalists.

RA 3 Cao (Grass) 2014

“Everything is art. Everything is politics,” Ai Weiwei once said. He knows of what he speaks. His life and his art have often been ensnared in Chinese government politics. The march across London was two days before the Ai Weiwei exhibition opened at the Royal Academy. Only a few weeks…

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