Artist: Ai Weiwei
Edition size: Signed by the artist, unnumbered edition of 1,000
Medium: Electroplated rhodium on cast urethane resin
Total dimensions: 5" x 4" x 4" inches
Irreverent and striking, thisrhodium-plated cast model of Ai Weiwei’s hand was created by the artist on the occasion of his ambitious citywide Public Art Fund exhibition Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, on view in New York City from Oct 2017 – Feb 2018. The gesture is adapted from Ai’s famed photo series, Study of Perspective (ongoing since 1995), in which his left arm is extended forward with his middle finger raised in front of significant global landscapes, buildings, and monuments. A rejection of authority and political oppression, and an affirmation of individual expression, Artist’s Hand is the embodiment of the artist’s ethos.
Chinese, b. 1957, Beijing, China, based in Beijing, China
A cultural figure of international renown, Ai Weiwei is an activist, architect, curator, filmmaker, and China’s most famous artist. Open in his criticism of the Chinese government, Ai was famously detained for months in 2011, then released to house arrest. “I don’t see myself as a dissident artist,” he says. “I see them as a dissident government!” Some of Ai’s best known works are installations, often tending towards the conceptual and sparking dialogue between the contemporary world and traditional Chinese modes of thought and production. For Sunflower Seeds (2010) at the Tate Modern, he scattered 100 million porcelain “seeds” handpainted by 1,600 Chinese artisans—a commentary on mass consumption and the loss of individuality. His infamous Coca Cola Vase (1994) is a Han Dynasty urn emblazoned with the ubiquitous soft-drink logo. Ai also served as artistic consultant on the design of the “Bird’s Nest” stadium for Beijing’s 2008 Olympics, and has curated pavilions and museum exhibitions around the globe.