SAN JOSE, Calif., June 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Artist and activist Ai Weiwei and leading arts non-profit Public Art Fund are partnering for a second time with eBay to exclusively release a series of six powerful new works of art for charity on June 20, World Refugee Day. The six works are compelling portraits of refugees: a remarkable and timely expression of the artist's work surrounding this global humanitarian crisis. There are 500 editions of each of the six banners, available for $750 each.
"I am happy that Public Art Fund and eBay are offering a special edition of six banners to support Public Art Fund, as well as USA for UNHCR and the IRC," said Ai Weiwei. "These six banners were selected from among the 200 banners included as a part of my 'Good Fences Make Good Neighbors' exhibition in New York City. The work is directly related to the history of human migration and aims to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis happening today. It is a reminder of the artist's responsibility to defend the understanding that all humans share the same meaning of life. I have always believed that to be the foundation of our aesthetic practice."
The sale will launch June 20 at eBay.com/aiweiwei, and the limited editions will be available through June 27, 2018, or until the works sell out. The banners may be collected individually or as a complete series of six—for $4,500 per series. They may be hung directly on the wall, framed, or installed as banners.
"Public Art Fund is thrilled to partner with Ai Weiwei and eBay to realize this powerful series of portraits that not only embodies Ai's determination to bring attention to this urgent global issue, but also enables collectors to bring an aspect of Public Art Fund's landmark exhibition, 'Good Fences Make Good Neighbors,' into their own homes," said Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator, Nicholas Baume. "Ai's generosity is unparalleled, and this is a unique opportunity for collectors to support the missions of Public Art Fund, USA for UNHCR and the IRC, while collecting a major work by Ai Weiwei."
"We're thrilled to continue our partnership with the Public Art Fund and Ai Weiwei to exclusively give our 171 million active buyers a chance to own limited artworks for an important cause," said Sam Bright, Senior Director of Art & Collectibles at eBay. "This special sale furthers our mission to use the power of our platform to impact significant causes, benefiting two essential organizations supporting refugees."
All proceeds will go to charity. The edition will support Public Art Fund's mission to provide democratic access to contemporary art by today's most important artists, as well as a catalogue about Ai Weiwei's recent exhibition. In addition, Public Art Fund will make a donation to USA for UNHCR to support the vital work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as well as the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in recognition of their work supporting displaced people.
In October of 2017, eBay, Ai Weiwei and New York's Public Art Fund first partnered on an exclusive charity sale of two special edition limited artworks which sold in 24 hours.
The sale follows eBay for Charity's successful Warren Buffett Power Lunch that benefits GLIDE and helps disenfranchised communities of San Francisco, which raised $3,300,100 on Friday, June 1. To see more charity events, visit eBay.com/charityshop.
About the Exclusive Artworks
The six portraits were selected by the artist from his original series of 200 individually numbered portraits of immigrants and refugees, from the nineteenth century to today, installed on lampposts across New York City in Public Art Fund's landmark exhibition "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors." Ai transformed these vinyl banners, traditionally used for advertising, into captivating works of art. Using the same industrial vinyl and laser-cutting technique, the new editions replicate the original banners at half scale: 17" x 48".
The six portraits for sale were installed across the city, including on East 56 Street between Fifth & Madison Avenues, outside of Trump Tower, and locations on the Lower East Side and East Village, near where Ai lived as student and immigrant in the 1980s. The portraits range from historical immigrants such as feminist political activist Emma Goldman to current day refugees photographed by the artist and his team at the Shariya Camp in Iraq.
About "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors"
From October 2017 to February 2018, Public Art Fund presented Ai Weiwei's "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" in all five boroughs of New York City. Inspired by the international migration crisis and current global geopolitical landscape, the exhibition transformed the security fence into a powerful social and artistic symbol. With over 300 artworks, the interventions grew out of the existing urban infrastructure, using the fabric of the city as its base and drawing attention to the role of the fence in dividing people.
The exhibition featured a series of lamppost banner portraits, for which Ai adapted historic photographs from Ellis Island, images of famous refugees, and his own contemporary portraits taken with his studio on their global travels to 40 refugee camps. Rather than printing them like conventional banner ads, each image was laser cut from industrial black vinyl, using the negative space to create a bold, two-sided image.
About Ai Weiwei
Given his extraordinary life and work, Ai Weiwei stands as a unique figure on the world stage. He is both one of our most celebrated contemporary artists and one of the world's most prominent and respected human rights and social justice activists. He has built a remarkable interdisciplinary career as a highly influential artist and cultural activist working across a variety of media including sculpture, installation, architecture, photography, and film.
About Public Art Fund
Public Art Fund is dedicated to providing free access to the most important art of our time, championing the role of artistic expression in an open society by bringing dynamic contemporary art to the broadest possible audiences across New York City.
Public Art Fund has redefined what public art is and can be through more than 450 projects that have demonstrated the power and potential of public art to transform the urban environment, engage audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and capture the imaginations of millions.
About eBay for Charity
eBay for Charity helps enable members of the eBay community to connect with and support their favorite charities when they buy or sell in the U.S. and abroad. Sellers can donate up to 100 percent of the proceeds to a charity of their choice, while buyers can add a donation to their purchase during checkout. To date, nearly $810 million dollars has been raised for charity by the eBay community.
About USA for UNHCR
USA for UNHCR helps and protects refugees and people displaced by violence, conflict and persecution. Supporting UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – and its partners, we provide lifesaving essentials including shelter, water, food, safety and protection. Around the world, we help refugees survive, recover and build a better future.
Together we give refugees the hope they deserve, restore their dignity and help them rebuild their lives.
Established by concerned American citizens, USA for UNHCR is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C.
About the International Rescue Committee (IRC)
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 28 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.
About World Refugee Day
On World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20, people around the world honor the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the creation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the inaugural World Refugee Day was held in 2001. This international event encourages public awareness and support of refugees, people who have had to flee their home lands because of conflict or natural disaster.
SOURCE eBay Inc.