Radical Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has teamed up with New York non-profit Public Art Fund and eBay to launch an exclusive sale of his work in honor of World Refugee Day. From his recent Good Fences Make Good Neighbors exhibition in New York City, the artist has selected six remarkable portraits of global refugees that will be sold exclusively through eBay, starting today. With all profits going to charity, the limited edition prints are selling for $750 each, and will be available until June 27 (or until they sell out).
Originally launched in October 2017, Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbors was inspired by the current immigration crisis, made all the more pertinent by this week’s news showcasing the way minors have been separated from their parents, and kept in horrible conditions at different United States border crossings.
The exhibition featured 300 portraits taken by the artist at 40 different global refugee camps, and were hung as banners on lampposts throughout New York City. The six images selected by Ai WeiWei and the Public Art Fund for sale on eBay, include a portrait of feminist activist Emma Goldman and current refugees photographed at the Shariya Camp in Iraq.
Ai Weiwei has long been an outspoken social activist who uses various mediums, including photography, installation, sculpture and film, to make subversive statements about politics and the current climate. Public Art Fund is a New York City non-profit “dedicated to providing free access to the most important art of our time” by “bringing dynamic contemporary art to the broadest possible audiences.” Through public art exhibitions, like Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, the organization examines the ways in which we interact and appreciate art.
In honor of World Refugee day, the two have partnered with eBay for Charity, a special program on the international e-commerce giant that allows sellers to donate all funds to charities of their choice. Following the company’s recent collaboration with Warren Buffet, which raised over $3M for disenfranchised communities in San Francisco, the Ai Weiwei sale will support the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which offers health, safety, education and economic aid to communities that have been destroyed by conflict, and USA for UNHCR, a Washington D.C. non-profit that protects and helps refugees who have been displaced by violence or persecution.
Every June 20 is World Refugee Day, a day to support, honor and raise awareness for the millions of refugees across this globe — and this year, it couldn’t have come at a better time. To celebrate (and get an amazing piece of art in the process), buy your limited edition Ai Weiwei portrait, here.
Photos courtesy Public Art Fund, NY