Tens of thousands donate to Ai Weiwei's tax bill

It’s been a tumultuous year for one of our favorite artists, Ai Weiwei who, after his 81 day long detention, was slammed with a punitive $2.4 million tax bill from the Chinese government. In a testament to his wide appeal and support, The New York Times reported that “thousands of people have responded by contributing money in a gesture that is at once benevolent and subversive” and “more than 20,000 people have together contributed at least $840,000.” This is unsurprising to any student of history or political movements. The more the Chinese government tries to censor Ai Weiwei the more his popularity as both an artist and a counter-cultural political figurehead seems to spread. In the midst of all this, we were reminded once again of his artistic genius when this photograph of his installation “Forever Bicycles” spread like wild fire through the blogosphere last week. It’s part of a new exhibition pointedly titled “Ai Weiwei Absent” that recently opened at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

Also, this sculpture below by Chinese artist He Xiangyu of a seemingly dead Ai Weiwei lying face down shocked residents of the small German town Bad Ems, some of whom called the local police thinking it was a real body.