Tag Archive | Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, In and Around NYC!

Gilded Cage Central Park
Ai Weiwei’s Gilded Cage in Central Park (All Photos By Gail)

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has a new series of public art sculpture installations up in Manhattan and across the five boroughs, which is called Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. Inspired by the international migration crisis and current geopolitical landscape, the ambitious project is installed in over 300 locations, including two monumental sculptures situated within in highly-trafficked Manhattan parks, along with security fences on top of, and in between, buildings (such as The Cooper Union), and several bus shelters. In addition, there are also graphic and photographic works on flags, billboards and lamppost banners. I saw a lot of these banners along Chrystie Street, which is where I also got my first glimpse of one of the fences.

Fence On Chrystie
Rooftop Fence Installation at 189 Chrystie Street

Fence On Chrystie

Ai’s metal fence is designed as a modular form, readily adaptable to the existing architecture, to span and partition the space.

Fence On Chrystie

You can still see the fences at night, because they are illuminated.

Fence On Bowery
Rooftop Fence Installation on Bowery

Don’t forget to look up!

Bus Shelter at Ave C and E 6th Street
Bus Shelter at Ave C and E 6th Street

Gilded Cage Central Park

While it’s fun to spot the fences, it’s the interactive sculptures in the parks that really bring the Instagram Moments. Gilded Cage located at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park (at 5th Avenue and 60th Street) can be entered on one side.

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

Gilded Cage Central Park Top Detal

Gilded Cage Central Park Top Detail

This is the money shot, am I right?

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

This turnstile is trapped between two layers of the cage and cannot be accessed from inside or outside. Think on that for a bit.

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

Gilded Cage Central Park

I haven’t see Gilded Cage at night, but it has to also be illuminated, and you can probably get an entirely different vibe from it (not to mention great photos) after dark.

Gilded Cage Central Park
Facing The Plaza Hotel

On the evening of the same day I saw Gilded Cage, Geoffrey and I were down in Tribeca at an art opening and we walked back uptown through Washington Square Park so I could get a glimpse of Arch, which, appropriately, is installed under the one of the most famous landmarks in the city.

Washington Square Arch Park to Street View With Fountain

Let’s take a closer look!

Washington Square Arch Park to Street View

Arch is also a cage-like structure with a cut-out passageway in the center, which is formed in the shadowy shape of two men holding each other. The passageway was influenced by one of Marcel Duchamp’s early artworks.

Arch Park to Street View

This is the view facing the Arch from inside the park, looking towards the park’s northern boarder on University Place.

Arch Park to Street View

And now we walk through!

Arch Street to Park View

Arch Street to Park View

Washington Square Arch Street to Park View
Looking at the Arch from Outside the Park!

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is a fun thing to see all over the city, and if you have friends or relatives visiting from outside NYC it is a cool, non-touristy thing to expose them to the art of Ai Weiwe! Enjoy!

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is on Exhibit Citywide Through February 11, 2018. Consult the Google for Locations Near You!

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Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds at The Mary Boone Gallery

Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds Installation at Mary Boone Gallery
Image Source

If a first glance at the photo above has you wondering how a gallery floor covered with a vast and pristine aggregation of Sunflower Seeds qualifies as “Art,” please consider that these aren’t merely sunflower seeds but, rather, tiny hand-painted ceramic sculptures of Sunflower Seeds, and you may find your perception shifting. The Mary Boone Gallery in Chelsea is currently hosting an installation of Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds (2010), which originally debuted at London’s Tate Modern, where it covered nearly the entire floor of the Turbine Hall gallery. The Boone Gallery show has been significantly scaled down in size (from 100 million seeds in the original installation to several million here) but it is nevertheless an impressive sight.

Visitors to the Tate exhibition were originally encouraged to walk across the sculpture, but this practice was soon halted out of a concern for public health (something about dust inhalation). Likewise, visitors to Mary Boone are not permitted to walk on the ceramic sunflower seeds, and with the ubiquitous gallery guards (Art Nazis) watching you at all times, it’s best not to even try.

Watch a cool video where Ai Weiwei talks about the project and walks you through the process of creating the seeds below.

Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds installation is on view at Mary Boone Gallery, 541 West 24th Street in Chelsea, New York through February 4, 2012.