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Ai Weiwei Has Designed Face Masks to Raise Funds for COVID-19 Relief

May 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

A defiant middle finger, a heap of sunflower seeds, and various mythical creatures are all silk-screened in black ink on the blue cloth backdrops of nonsurgical masks. The artworks the most recent intervention by artist and activist Ai Weiwei (previously) to help raise money for organizations directly involved with combating the coronavirus pandemic. Inspired by a documentary he's making about COVID-19, the artist decided to create an entire collection after printing his iconic middle finger onto one of the disposable cloths. "An individual wearing a mask makes a gesture; a society wearing…

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Art

‘Stacked’ by Ai Weiwei: 760 Stacked Bicycles at Galleria Continua

January 9, 2013

Christopher Jobson

As part of his first exhibition at Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, artist Ai Weiwei (previously) has installed 760 stacked bicycles in a sprawling installation on a raised stage within the gallery. It's important to note that the bikes are not simply "stacked" but have been physically attached creating a single cohesive structure which can be explored from within, similar to his 2011 work Forever Bicycles. The exhibition is comprised of several sculptures, installations, video and photographs from the Chinese artist who was bestowed last May with the inaugural Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation.…

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Ai Weiwei and Examining the Humanitarian Crisis Captured in his Documentary Film ‘Human Flow’

November 1, 2019

This interview was recorded on Monday, April 30, 2018 in Chicago and has been edited for brevity and clarity. Our editor Christopher Jobson sat down with Ai Weiwei while he was touring his documentary Human Flow, a film that documents the human refugee crisis spanning 20 countries in stunning scale. Christopher: Human Flow captures conflicts that have been ongoing for 10-15 years, and even much longer in the making. Was there a moment or incident where you said this film needs to be made? Ai: Yes. I had been paying attention to the refugee crisis since 2014. At that time…

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Art

26 Contemporary Chinese Artists Explore Materiality in ‘Allure of Matter’

February 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

CHICAGO—Containing a massive paper wave, a tower of leftover fat, and a tiger-skin rug of 500,000 cigarettes, The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China encompasses 48 works from 26 contemporary Chinese artists in an exhibition on view now in Chicago. Focused on the materiality of seemingly every day objects, the exhibition prompted artists to explore how substances like tobacco, plastics, and Coca-Cola could be fashioned anew. “Taken together, the…

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Art

Bathroom Fixtures at Alcatraz Transformed into Porcelain Floral Bouquets by Ai Weiwei

November 6, 2014

Johnny Waldman

The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei currently has an exhibition on Alcatraz, the notorious island used as a military fortress and federal penitentiary. Amongst a large body of work created specifically for Alcatraz is “Blossom,” which has been installed in several hospital ward cells and medical offices. And as its name suggests, intricately detailed encrustations of ceramic flowers are blossoming out of sinks, toilets and tubs that were once used by hospitalized prisoners. The curator offers two possibilities in interpreting Ai’s porcelain blossoms: a symbolic offering…

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Colossal

Colossal Needs You!—Introducing Membership

November 6, 2019

Christopher Jobson

Since launching Colossal nine years ago, I’ve taken great pride in focusing the site entirely on art and artists. For the first several years Colossal didn’t have advertising—the site was a labor of love. We were lucky to see traffic skyrocket, but with that increased audience came increased server costs and it became necessary to introduce a few ad banners. Colossal quickly grew into a flourishing arts publication that employs several full and part-time staff as editors, contributing writers, and (always paid) interns. Every single day I wake up to write, edit, curate, and publish. It’s a dream realized. We…

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