Ai Weiwei & Andy Warhol At NGV

8 years ago
2 minutes

You may not have seen it yet, but it is a must see for anyone who is interested in both art as a space, art as design, and art as a reflection of history.

Some of you will be asking, who is Ai Weiwei, and why should I care? Some of you.

Ultimately, Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist who came to serious-global prominence after two events.

The first, designing the Crow's Nest for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008; the second, for denouncing the Government leading up to and during the Games.

A man who holds public liability and responsibility, Ai Wei Wei's art is made to not only offer answers, but also raise many questions.



Whilst rarely made himself, the pieces are all conceived by Ai Wei Wei - as one of his builders said in the Ai Weiwei documentary 'Never Sorry':

“I’m just his hands. I’m like an assassin! He tells me, ‘Here’s some money, go kill this person.’ I wouldn’t ask him, ‘Why do you want him killed?’ That’s silly. You just get it done! We’re just hired assassins."

Now, why has Ai Weiwei's work, as arguably the most prominent living artist, paired up with the pop-art king Andy Warhol?

This question has clearly been one of the major questions behind the exhibition - and the answer is simple - provocation.

The two artists, if they are to have anything in common, it is the deconstruction of social (be it through popular culture, politics, or both combined) fences, boundaries and constraints that isolates them as artists.

Andy Warhol highlighted a reliance of branding and marketing, to a city that cheered him, whereas Ai Weiwei carved out the deficiencies, lies and cover-ups to a nation that tried to keep him quiet.

The Ai Weiwei | Andy Warhol exhibition is currently showing at the National Gallery of Victoria - and is truly a must-see - buy tickets here.