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Ai Weiwei Maxims Adorn Fund-raiser Sweaters

One of Lingua Franca NYC's sweaters with Ai Weiwei's sayings.

WEARABLE ART: Usually reserved for large-scale installations of bicycles and Chinese zodiac animals, Ai Weiwei’s artistic vision has been shrunken to human size, and even better, these works are wearable. A couple of his famous quotes emblazon limited-edition, long-sleeved sweaters by Lingua Franca NYC through a collaborative fundraiser for the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colo. “Born radical” and “The art always wins” come in several combinations of dove gray, red or cream cashmere with red or cream hand-stitched embroidery. When the nonprofit reached out about its first fashion project, Lingua Franca founder Rachelle Hruska MacPherson said she didn’t need to look hard for inspiration.

“His art and particularly his take on human rights and democracy for all especially resonates with our company and what we value,” said Hruska MacPherson, who has also created exclusive pieces in her slow fashion ethos for the Whitney Museum of Art and Christie’s auction house to benefit MoMA. “However, this is the first time we’ve collaborated with an actual artist.”

Sweaters, which retail for $380 in Anderson Ranch’s gallery and gift shop, already sold out of one color way. It’s unlikely any will be left by the time Ai’s talk with Alexandra Munroe, a curator of Asian art at the Guggenheim in New York, takes places on July 18. His sold-out appearance is among Anderson Ranch’s 2018 Summer Series of featured artists and conversations and critical dialogue (Enrique Martinez Celaya, Tara Donovan and Robert Longo are also scheduled). There aren’t any tickets left to his Recognition Dinner, Anderson Ranch’s biggest benefit event of the year, either; he’ll receive the International Artist Award — while Bunny and Charles Burson are given the Service of the Arts Award — at Hotel Jerome in nearby Aspen on July 19.

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