Ai Weiwei’s $30,000 Bicycles Are Functional Flights of Fancy

  • Untitled Bicycles first exhibited during the Brooklyn Museum’s 2014 retrospective Ai Weiwei: According to What?

Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei—who is known as much for his activism as for his art—once said, “My definition of art has always been the same. It is about freedom of expression, a new way of communication. I don’t think anybody can separate art from politics.” Accordingly, the prolific contemporary artist’s works have often dealt with political themes.

Weiwei’s Untitled Bicycles, a set of 60 stainless steel bicycles, is no exception. The custom-made bikes—which the artist says symbolize the innate human desire for free will in expression and mobility—were first exhibited during the Brooklyn Museum’s 2014 retrospective Ai Weiwei: According to What? Now, the fully functional two-wheelers are available for sale. In addition to being powerful statements, the bicycles, which are priced at $27,500 and available exclusively through the museum, feature stainless steel bodies, white tires, and seats imprinted with an image of Weiwei’s face. Each example also comes with a stamped and numbered head tube and a certificate of authenticity. (AiWeiwei.Edition@brooklynmuseum.org; brooklynmuseum.org)

From Around the Web...
A rendering of the new Christie's center in Beverly Hills.
Set to debut in April, the 5,400-square-foot center will feature two floors for sales and events…
More than 100 of Britto’s original works will be on exhibit and for sale…
Phillips auction house’s Robert Manley shares the secrets to building a successful art collection…
The ultra-exclusive writing instrument collection abounds with diamonds and gems that twinkle like...
AP/REX/Shutterstock
The lineup of heavy hitters include articles once owned by Evel Knievel, Babe Ruth, and Jim Brown…
UI/REX/Shutterstock
Although left on the block, the psychoanalyst’s signed oath and letter can still be bought online…
The late artists’ respective pieces could bring billionaire buyers together at Christie’s in London…
Photo by Nate D. Sanders Auctions
The book contains a letter that Columbus penned about the people and places he discovered on his...
From a hunting knife to a copy of the Constitution, these items have become iconic of their owner…
Photo by Moscow The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Sergei Shchukin’s beloved art collection has not been assembled at a single site since the 1940s…