Published On: Sun, Feb 4th, 2018

Global art on fire: Enticing art on opposite continents

By Janet Ekstract
UNITED NATIONS – New York City and Istanbul are the most happening art hot spots right now, so what better venues to showcase two of the most powerhouse exhibitions of the 21st century.
It should come as no surprise that these two, dynamic cities are currently hosting the most exciting and prolific standout art exhibitions in the world. In New York City, “Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors,” to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Public Art Fund in New York City. While Istanbul is playing host to the world’s largest exhibition of rare, mixed media by the late, great Leonardo da Vinci whose work spans centuries.
For those who crave the unconventional, highly imaginative and ‘in your face’ type of statements that are ‘en vogue’ in the art world currently, these exhibitions with timely global messages are not to be missed.
Ai, China’s most celebrated contemporary artist and prominent dissident bring his ‘think outside the box’ genius to a multitude of citywide installations designed as part of the Public Art Fund’s project: “Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.”
It’s the largest installation the Public Art Fund has ever created with its debut in mid-2017 showing over 300 artworks that remain on public view through February 11, 2018, within a five-borough radius. They are also accompanied by three giant sculptures located at Central Park, Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village and Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.
The installation’s aim is meant to reflect homage to a burgeoning, worldwide refugee crisis and to highlight the symbolism of barriers and walls that reflect the current social media buzz on human rights.
Ai Weiwei’s debut documentary, “Human Flow,” that opened mid-October 2017, in New York and Washington D.C. reflects almost two years of his life visiting over a dozen countries to document the growing refugee crisis.
The art extravaganza, “Leonardo da Vinci Expo: Even in Istanbul,” that opened December 2017 at Istanbul’s Maslak UNIQ Museum, also premiered in Belgium prior to its Istanbul debut.
What makes this exhibition so powerful is the original depiction of 100 replicas of da Vinci’s unique sketches, handwriting, drawing, and paintings, displayed in a fascinating installation of majestic opulence, reminiscent of an Ottoman palace. In addition, on view, are original documents form the era of Raphael and Donatello through April 7, 2018.
These two major art events extraordinaire are a must-see and a perfect reflection of the extensive diversity and freedom of thought that abounds in the current art climate. Be sure not to miss them!

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