Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who is as famous for his provocative art installations as he is for his outspoken criticism of the Chinese government, has been named the most powerful man in art by ArtReview magazine.According to ArtReview:
Only the second artist to top the list (after Damien Hirst in 2005 and 2008), Ai, who was arrested and imprisoned by the Chinese authorities for 81 days earlier this year, was ranked number one as a result of his activism as much as his art practice – both articulating a move away from the idea that artists work within a privileged zone limited by the walls of a gallery or museum.
The celebrated Chinese artist co-designed the Bird’s Nest Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He is a vocal critic of the Chinese government and communist regime; a near-nude self portrait of him titled 草泥马挡中央 (“grass mud horse covering the middle”) sounds almost the same in Chinese as 肏你妈党中央, “F*ck your mother, the Communist party central committee.”
The full list of the 100 most powerful people in art can be seen at ArtReview.
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