ARTS & CULTURE
10/15/2011 07:12 am ET | Updated Dec 14, 2011

Ai Weiwei Directs Riot And Arrest-Themed Photo Shoot At Rikers — ANIMAL

In spite of being on virtual house arrest in China, world's most powerful artist Ai Weiwei has directed a cover photo shoot for W Magazine via Skype from his studio in Beijing. Inspired by Ai's own photos of the 1980′s Tompkins Square riots, the feature stars a fashionable PYT getting kidnapped from a protest, dragged off by grim official-looking types and forced to shower in front of them in a disused part of the Rikers Island prison. Ai thinks that's funny.

A bitter-sweet conglomeration of ironies it is indeed. For the project, Ai directed Rolling Stone photographer Max Vadukul pro bono. "Without humor there is no work," he said.

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