Saturday, January 16, 2016

Andy Warhol x Ai Wei Wei

The international exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, on display until April 24th, juxtaposes the work of American artist Andy Warhol, popularised for his leadership of the pop art visual movement and Ai WeiWei, a contemporary Chinese artist subverting the oppression of the communist Chinese government through political activism and art.

Warhol was famed for his celebrity portraits as well as the subtle questioning of an increasingly consumerist and materialistic America through his art. In contrast, Ai Wei Wei has a much stronger focus on art as a political and cultural vehicle for change, utilising various artistic mediums including film, ready made art and even lego to question and champion human rights in China and internationally.

Although the conveyed relationship between the two artists is tenuous due to their very different cultural and national contexts, the exhibition successfully melds the creative endeavors of the non-contemporaneous artists into a cohesive whole.