Ai Weiwei Is Having a Bit of a Lego Moment

Chinese dissident re-creates Monet's 'Water Lilies' on a grand scale
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2023 11:17 AM CDT
Ai Weiwei Is Having a Bit of a Lego Moment
In this image provided by Christie's auction house on Jan. 31, 2014, is "Water Lilies" by French impressionist painter Claude Monet.   (AP Photo/Christie's)

For anyone who's ever witnessed an out-of-control Lego problem, Ai Weiwei has a bit of perspective for you. As ARTnews reports, the Chinese dissident artist's latest project involves 650,000 of the little Danish blocks in which he reimagines a classic: Claude Monet's Water Lilies. The piece—Water Lilies #1—used Lego blocks in 22 different colors, is 50 feet long, and takes up an entire wall of London's Design Museum, where it opens on April 7. (You can get a sense of its creation in this video.)

Ai took a bit of creative license and included a dark spot on the right of his creation, which the museum says represents the door to an underground dugout in China where Ai lived in exile with his poet father in the '60s. The museum terms it "their hellish desert home," and the chief curator tells the Guardian that it's "brutally puncturing the watery paradise." (Ai's other recent work was quite a bit cheekier.)

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