Study of Perspective
In his “Study of Perspective” series, Ai Weiwei points his middle finger at iconic landmarks, such as the White House, the Mona Lisa, and the Reichstag in Berlin. Ai, a prominent Chinese artist and activist, conceived this series as an ongoing project to share his views on power through quick snapshots, which often mimic tourist photographs. Ai constructed his first image in the series in 1995 at Tiananmen Square, the site of a 1989 massacre of student protestors in his native China. His most recent, from 2017, shows his middle finger in the foreground of Trump Tower in New York City. Through these photographs, Ai’s left hand has become an iconic symbol of cultural commentary. In 2017, the artist even created 1,000 silver casts of his middle finger, inviting collectors to stage their own critiques with his defiant motif.