Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is Ai Weiwei’s largest and most ambitious public art exhibition to date and will be on view October 12, 2017 – February 11, 2018, at sites across New York City. This exhibition is curated by Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume with the assistance of Associate Curator Daniel S. Palmer.
The event featured custom animated live projections on the neighboring buildings by Brandon Epperson at LiveX.tv, music by The Misshapes, specialty Espolòn cocktails and some other fun surprises including the interactive Black Market activation where you get to gamble and haggle with “cock” dollars for Espolòn swag, and a temporary tattoo artist painting Calaveras (Day of the Dead skulls) and other cool artwork.
Guests included The Misshapes’ Leigh Lezark and Geordon Nicol, Live X’s Brandon Epperson, rapper Cakes da Killa, Injury Reserve’s Nathaniel Ritchie, @youvegotnomale’s Sebastian Tribbie, Reign’s Toby Regbo, rapper Liana Bank$, The Voice’s Raycee Jones and Erin Willett, MILK Studios Creative Director Roberto Salas, Global Citizen Festival’s Andrew Kirk and more.
The story of Espolòn lies in the heart of Mexican history itself. Handcrafted with 100% Weber Blue Agave in Los Altos, the Highlands region of Jalisco, the award-winning tequilas are the pride of the San Nicolas Distillery and made in the Mexican tradition with modern techniques. A dream come true for Master Distiller Cirilo Oropeza, Espolòn pays homage to the legendary rooster and is a tribute to the artists who inspired the world with their true portrayals of the rich, storied culture of Mexico. Espolòn’s striking bottle artwork features the calavera (skeletons) depicting key moments in Mexican history, and led by the proud rooster, Ramón.
Spanning the flagpoles of Essex Street Market, Exodus is a narrative series of banners depicting the flight of refugees. The physical and mental stress of their journeys is palpable. They are depicted escaping warfare and devastation, carrying what they can over vast distances, and responsible for children, the sick and elderly. Despite constant threats to their survival, they are also driven by hope. Flowers, birds and butterflies, as well as Chinese symbols like clouds and dragons remind us that nature and the human imagination cannot be confined.
About Ai Weiwei
One of the leading cultural figures of his generation who is recognized for the artistic influence and profound social impact of his work, Ai Weiwei has built a remarkable interdisciplinary career across a variety of media. He inhabits many roles, including those of sculptor, architect, filmmaker, photographer, writer, publisher, curator, and activist. In each of these outlets he explores the dynamics of institutional power and draws attention to urgent humanitarian crises and civil liberties violations through resonant images and installations.