Ai Weiwei’s public art project Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is now on view across the city, but that doesn’t mean the behind the scenes work on the project is done. The Public Art Fund is still raising funds to support the massive citywide public art installation, on view through February, and have launched a new eBay shop to do it. Brace, Ai fans—you’re in for a treat.
Just two items are up for grabs through the eBay charity sale, and in true Ai fashion, one of those is a rhodium-plated cast of the artist’s hand giving the middle finger. Let us explain: the cast is not just for shock value; it recalls the artist’s Study of Perspective series, in which Ai photographed himself giving the finger to landmarks and monuments “in a rejection of authority and political oppression, and in support of individual expression,” the Public Art Fund explains. The cast is asking $675.
The second item is a $100 print in the style of a Greco-Roman frieze that depicts the global refugee crisis. Both items are on sale now through October 27.
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is intended to address the growing hostility towards immigrants, the rise of nationalism throughout the world, and the growing refugee crisis. Site-specific sculptural installations—at Washington Square Park and the Unisphere, to name two—have been set up alongside installations at bus shelters that call to mind the importance of transportation in the global refugee crisis. (See all the major locations here.)
The installation also appears as documentary images and portraits of refugees on lampposts, LinkNYC kiosks, and newsstands throughout the five boroughs.
The Public Art Fund has also gathered capital to support the institution and installation through a Kickstarter campaign that sought to raise $80,000, but exceeded its goal to bring in $96,853.