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Is Ai Weiwei the most important artist in the world right now?

  • The man who breaks the ranks of conformity in a nation of censorship

    China is a nation where people have to conform to a political ideology. Having visited China I can confirm this, taking pictures was restricted, the atrocities of the regime were covered up and denied by the people there, the military imposed on foreigners and secret police watched our every move in Beijing. Ai Weiwei has stood against all this intimidation, speaking out against the regime and protesting over censorship and the Tibetan dispute in international news headlines. In a world where there is greater evidence of the rise of autocracy and dictatorship, Ai Weiwei stands as a rock against these forces which threaten freedom, and that is why, considering the current modern times, that I would say that Weiwei is the most important artist of modern times. Simply because he makes headlines for the right reasons and against all the odds.

  • He is one of the most prominent and outspoken political artists of our time.

    I'll keep it short. Ai Weiwei is one of the most outspoken political artists of our time, especially our time since it is in such political revolution and turmoil. His art expresses his beliefs about not only politics, but the changing of cultures such as China, such as his new bicycle based installation in the MFA in Boston [Forever]. No matter your race or background, his art can speak of his and China's current troubles.

  • He is one of the most prominent and outspoken political artists of our time.

    I'll keep it short. Ai Weiwei is one of the most outspoken political artists of our time, especially our time since it is in such political revolution and turmoil. His art expresses his beliefs about not only politics, but the changing of cultures such as China, such as his new bicycle based installation in the MFA in Boston [Forever]. No matter your race or background, his art can speak of his and China's current troubles.

  • He is one of the most prominent and outspoken political artists of our time.

    I'll keep it short. Ai Weiwei is one of the most outspoken political artists of our time, especially our time since it is in such political revolution and turmoil. His art expresses his beliefs about not only politics, but the changing of cultures such as China, such as his new bicycle based installation in the MFA in Boston [Forever]. No matter your race or background, his art can speak of his and China's current troubles.

  • he is the best

    After the harsh punishment put upon him by China, Ai continues to fight for the basic rights, express himself and speak for his fellow citizens using the creativity of an artist. Without the systematic protection of the basic human rights, it is impossible to expect higher living or aesthetic standards-even you can do so, it is meaningless and deceptive. Ai Weiwei is the very artist who fights for the system that protects fundamental human rights and guarantees the human dignity. That is why I think he is the most important artist in the world today.

  • He's changing China - and maybe the world

    He's an integral part of China's human rights movement, supporting not only well-known activists but also ordinary people petitioning for their legal rights. Perhaps his most important contribution is to broaden the debate on human rights in China, the role of the Communist Party and China's democratic future. His international status makes him a global voice for at least tens of millions of China's 1.3 billion people. Ao Lun

  • Who else is?

    Ai Weiwei is certainly the most known artist in the world at this moment. Representing the creative explosion of modern art in China, he is also there the one with the strongest influence. Finally, he is the most eloquent advocate for human rights of any artist in the world. I if someone doesn't agree: whoe else? Hans-Olaf Henkel

  • Yes, I think so.

    Ai Weiwei first of all is a human-kind just like you and me. And then he is an artist as a profession for living and social recognition. The instinct and right of expressing oneself are the basic characteristics of being a human. Expressing oneself is also a way of realizing oneself a human and differentiating human from animals. Ai Weiwei is living and working in the biggest country which still does not respect the basic human rights in the planet. Country like China not only jeopardizes its own people's happiness but also influences life of all the people in the world. After the harsh punishment put upon him by China, Ai continues to fight for the basic rights, express himself and speak for his fellow citizens using the creativity of an artist. Without the systematic protection of the basic human rights, it is impossible to expect higher living or aesthetic standards-even you can do so, it is meaningless and deceptive. Ai Weiwei is the very artist who fights for the system that protects fundamental human rights and guarantees the human diginity. That is why I think he is the most important artist in the world today.

  • Yes, I think so.

    Ai Weiwei first of all is a human-kind just like you and me. And then he is an artist as a profession for living and social recognition. The instinct and right of expressing oneself are the basic characteristics of being a human. Expressing oneself is also a way of realizing oneself a human and differentiating human from animals. Ai Weiwei is living and working in the biggest country which still does not respect the basic human rights in the planet. Country like China not only jeopardizes its own people's happiness but also influences life of all the people in the world. After the harsh punishment put upon him by China, Ai continues to fight for the basic rights, express himself and speak for his fellow citizens using the creativity of an artist. Without the systematic protection of the basic human rights, it is impossible to expect higher living or aesthetic standards-even you can do so, it is meaningless and deceptive. Ai Weiwei is the very artist who fights for the system that protects fundamental human rights and guarantees the human dignity. That is why I think he is the most important artist in the world today.

  • He is an important person, art is another thing.

    He has become well known by making public things hidden by the Chinese government. So, by that I think he is an important person, an important dissident. But he's not the most important person. There is no such thing/too hard to judge.

    In terms of his art, what I have personally experienced didn't really move me on its own, and I didn't quite get the explanation either. Well, I understood the concept, but I couldn't physically relate it to the work. So, in a way, his art, for an artist, is not very influential, and I am the kind of person interested in art with a concept. But maybe more ephemeral. So I wouldn't say his art is "the most important" at all. Art could be politically motivated, but it doesn't have to be. What it should do is show you a different way of seeing things, and his work, without him, doesn't really do that for me.

  • Too focused on the matter of democracy in China.

    I think the problem here is the fact that too many arguments revolve around China and the punishment of Ai WeiWei, and the topic sentence just stating that is he the most important has too many interpretations. "Importance" is not described by how one stands up against a government, it is the measurement of necessity paired with a need. It is completely invalid to state that he is important because he is an icon of democracy, then would you say Lenin was unimportant because he was supporting and promoting Communism? It's a matter of perspective, however I don't believe importance is measured depending on the views in which they harbor. However, should the topic have stated whether Ai Wei Wei was important because he is a figure representing human rights and Democracy then yes, Ai Wei Wei would be rather important. But I would not consider him the most important artist. Artistically Ai Wei Wei has made achievements but I would consider him more important politically in the populaces movement for human rights in China. Important as a...Semi-political figure...However not as much as an Artist.

  • He isn't, but...

    You can't really say that any one artist is the "most important artist in the world right now." There's a lot of subjectivity in that. However, this is not meant to disparage Ai Weiwei at all. I would say that he is important and is using his art in an influential way.

  • He isn't, but...

    You can't really say that any one artist is the "most important artist in the world right now." There's a lot of subjectivity in that. However, this is not meant to disparage Ai Weiwei at all. I would say that he is important and is using his art in an influential way.

  • No, I don't think so

    To say that Ai Weiwei is the MOST important artist in the world right now is too bold of a statement. I don't believe that he has been well-known for long enough to make the case that he is. Besides, there are so many artists in the world that it would be hard to argue that any one is the most important.

  • Way Too Soon to Tell

    There is no doubt that Ai Weiwei the well-known Chinese artist has become a global sensation with his reinterpretation of the gangman style. However, the worldwide importance of an individual artist is difficult to assess in real time. Such a designation cannot be made solely by this opinion poll in a vacuum. The bigger conversation about the meaning of art needs to enter the conversation. The future will have to decide if “Grass-Mud Horse Style” a Chinese Internet meme has the same power of Guernica a painting by Pablo Picasso to alter the oppression experienced by the inhabitants of our globe.


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