PR & Influencer

Maybe Art & Berengo Studio

In collaboration with Wang Fen, Berengo Studio is delighted to have contributed to the new online space ‘Maybe Art’.

ounded by Wang Fen in 2021 the company “Maybe Art” has developed an online platform together with Ai Weiwei. The virtual space is dedicated to the artist’s smaller artworks, and all pieces shown on the platform are limited editions and made exclusively for the site. This means visitors can view and buy sculptures by Ai Weiwei directly, in a forward-thinking move that bypasses a more traditional gallery structure, democratising the ownership of these glass sculptures through the use of technology.

Among the collectable works on sale are several artworks in glass, made exclusively by the artist in collaboration with the glass maestros of Berengo Studio. Glass Takeout Box (2022) and Glass Toilet Paper (2022), were both produced earlier this year and feature in the artist’s latest exhibition in Venice: La Commedia Umana – Memento Mori which runs till the end of November.

The two artworks are united in their playful approach to the medium, using the material of glass to contemplate and enhance the form of everyday objects. For Glass Takeout Box Ai Weiwei focused on a food container customarily made in China from styrofoam. Known internationally for its prevalent use, it has unwittingly become a symbol of the changing state of our world, of globalisation, but also of the situation we find ourselves in where convenience and speed are prized over sustainability and patience. His other small scale artwork, available from Maybe Art and featured in the exhibition, Glass Toilet Paper (2022), was inspired by the news at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when supermarket shelves were left empty and customers fought over multi-packs in a rush of panic. By creating such a simple object in glass Ai Weiwei wished not only to highlight the absurdity of the event, he sought to immortalise it too. In glass the sculpture takes on a new significance, its unsettling transparency becomes a cunning commentary on the opaque nature of the relentless production and consumption of the capitalistic society in which we live. It also cannot help but position itself as a symbol of the fragility of society itself.

Other works available via Maybe Art also focus on the artist’s innovative use of traditional materials and techniques. In 2013 Ai Weiwei began creating works using the language of traditional Chinese kites, in the same way that he produced his classic motif of the middle finger in glass he has now also created a version made out of bamboo called Middle Finger (2022), another work After The Hanging Man (2021) uses barbed wire to create the contours of Marcel Duchamp’s profile, a homage to Duchamp that also subtly references the pain of borders and migration. Other works available include Oak Leaves 2022, a mezzotint etching, and a special edition print of Treadmill, an artwork that embodies the artist’s defence of press freedoms around the world, linked to his social media campaign #RunForOurRights.

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