Ai Weiwei

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Portrait Banners

eBay, artist and activist Ai Weiwei and leading arts non-profit Public Art Fund are partnering to exclusively release a series of six powerful new works of art on June 20, World Refugee Day. These compelling portraits of immigrants and refugees are a remarkable and timely expression of the artist’s work surrounding this global humanitarian crisis.

The edition will support Public Art Fund’s mission to provide democratic access to contemporary art by today’s most important artists, as well as a catalogue about Ai Weiwei’s recent exhibition. In addition, Public Art Fund will make a donation to USA for UNHCR to support the vital work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as well to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in recognition of their work supporting displaced people.

Ai chose these six portraits from the 200 originally presented as banners on lampposts across New York City in the landmark exhibition Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. His selection represents their historical span, global reach, and emotional power. Using the same industrial vinyl and laser-cutting technique, the new edition replicates the original banners at half scale: 17” x 48”. Only 500 of each banner will be available at a price of $750 per work, exclusively on eBay. The banners may be collected individually or as a complete series of six for $4,500, and they may be hung directly on the wall, framed, or installed perpendicular to the wall to resemble their installation in the exhibition.

Don’t miss your opportunity to own an iconic work from Ai Weiwei’s landmark exhibition at an accessible price.

About Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

From October 2017 to February 2018, Public Art Fund presented Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbors in all five boroughs of New York City. Inspired by the international migration crisis and current global geopolitical landscape, the exhibition transformed the security fence into a powerful social and artistic symbol. With over 300 artworks, the interventions grew out of the existing urban infrastructure, using the fabric of the city as its base and drawing attention to the role of the fence in dividing people. The exhibition included 200 individually numbered portraits of immigrants and refugees, from the nineteenth century to today, installed on lampposts across the city. Ai transformed these vinyl banners, traditionally used for advertising, into captivating works of art. He adapted historic photographs from Ellis Island, images of famous refugees, and his own contemporary portraits taken with his studio on their global travels to 40 refugee camps. Rather than printing them like conventional banner ads, each image was laser cut from industrial black vinyl, using the negative space to create a bold, two-sided image.

Given his extraordinary life and work, Ai Weiwei stands as a unique figure on the world stage. He is both one of our most celebrated contemporary artists and one of the world’s most prominent and respected human rights and social justice activists. He has built a remarkable interdisciplinary career as a highly influential artist and cultural activist working across a variety of media including sculpture, installation, architecture, photography, and film.

About PAF

Public Art Fund is dedicated to providing free access to the most important art of our time, championing the role of artistic expression in an open society by bringing dynamic contemporary art to the broadest possible audiences across New York City.

Public Art Fund has redefined what public art is and can be through more than 450 projects that have demonstrated the power and potential of public art to transform the urban environment, engage audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and capture the imaginations of millions.

About World Refugee Day

On World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20, people around the world honor the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the creation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the inaugural World Refugee Day was held in 2001. This international event encourages public awareness and support of refugees, people who have had to flee their home lands because of conflict or natural disaster.

About USA for UNHCR

USA for UNHCR helps and protects refugees and people displaced by violence, conflict and persecution. Supporting UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – and its partners, we provide lifesaving essentials including shelter, water, food, safety and protection. Around the world, we help refugees survive, recover and build a better future.

Together we give refugees the hope they deserve, restore their dignity and help them rebuild their lives.

Established by concerned American citizens, USA for UNHCR is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

About International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities.