You have to wonder about Ai Weiwei? A media darling and clever self-promoter, he is loved by the press. But really, how good is his art?
Ai Weiwei does not like the Chinese government, past or present. He has his reasons. The government ruined his family, destroyed his studio, locked him up, hacked his accounts and took away his passport. They don’t like him either. Ai Weiwei has managed an incredibly successful campaign highlighting the government’s mistakes, corruption, illegal and immoral actions. He is a courageous, effective, anti- government activist. He is a skilled blackjack player. But he is also a high profile and extremely well paid artist.
His current show at the Royal Academy in London is getting rave reviews. My feelings were more mixed. I felt the most successful pieces were those that were beautiful first and political statement second. I loved ‘Trees” in the main courtyard, ‘Straight” a mesmerizing arrangement of steel bars and the large marble “grass” piece ‘Cao’. Others were just too obviously protest pieces for me… Unlike the critics, I really didn’t see the artistic merit of the steel boxes housing prison tableaux found at the end of the show.
As I handed back my free headset the person behind me remarked, “rubbish, nothing but emperor’s new clothes”.
Thank you Julie, another great blog.
For me he is a true artist with a strong opinion and not afraid to express it.
Looking forward to see you in November!
I found his work so mixed.
We’re in Italy but we got your great blog. He is a great artist, but I do find his work rather one-dimensional of late. Hope he can get beyond his maltreatment soon. Bernie & Irene
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Hope you are having an amazing trip. So looking forward to hearing all about it!
so true! aside from trees i really didn’t care for other pieces! i hear you’re touring uchicago this weekend and seeing my 2 monkeys…enjoy!
Lunch on Sunday. Can’t wait!
We saw a show of his works several years again in Washington, DC. Our vote: art!
Thank you! Hope you get a chance to see this exhibit