How China's Most Famous Grounded Artist Collaborated With A Navajo Man Thousands Of Miles Away

July 5, 2014 5:38 AM

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The idea was to raise the profile of a small Navajo art festival by roping in Ai Weiwei, the fiery Chinese dissident artist. And that's precisely what's happened. Suddenly, Navajo TIME, an annual festival that takes place deep in the desert in the American Southwest, is making headlines. Of the ten works commissioned by the state arts agency of New Mexico, the one that's causing all the fuss is Pull of the Moon, an international collaboration between Ai -- who remains captive in China since running afoul of the government a few years ago -- and Bert Benally, a Navajo artist you've probably never heard of.

"To their surprise, he agreed. 'For him to be interested in a project like this is like one in a million,' Santa Fe art advisor Eileen Braziel, who suggested contacting the Chinese artist, told the Albuquerque Journal. “He immediately said he was interested.” Apparently, the dramatic landscapes of C...

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