Ai Weiwei Takes NYC

Until quite recently I’d never heard of the world-renown artist Ai Wei Wei.  This past month, however, it would be impossible to remain in the dark about his work, as scores of his pieces now dot the Manhattan landscape I often find myself in. Below are just a few examples.

The pieces surround themes of separation, exile, and borders in general in the light of the ongoing immigrant crisis in Syria and elsewhere.  The banners here are a hunting and constant reminder of the struggles so many face so far from here.  In addition, the large sculpture sitting beneath Washington Square Arch is impossible to be missed.  Commenting on similar themes, the piece features the silhouette of two figures carrying on thanks to the support of one another.  This cutout was first designed in glass by surrealist Marcel Duchamp as the entrance André Breton’s Gradiva Gallery in 1937.