The 50 Most Iconic Artworks of the Past Five Years

17. Grass Mud Horse Style by Ai Weiwei, 2012

Ai Weiwei continually finds a way to turn culture in on itself as a means of critique. This time, Weiwei dug his fingers into South Korean Pop singer Psy's latest international sensation "Gangnam Style." Weiwei's version is clearly a low-production knockoff of the original "Gangnam Style," and it is so on purpose. The short video features himself and a handful of others singing along and dancing while linked in handcuffs within the walls of his Beijing studio. In trend with other works by the notorious Weiwei, the video was banned by Chinese authorities shortly after its release. The blatant act of censorship has prompted a strong response, and a video collaboration between Amnesty International, dancer Akram Khan, and artist Sir Anish Kapoor was made as a gesture of support for Ai Weiwei and freedom of expression. While Weiwei has plenty of pieces that could be considered iconic in years to come, this parody engaged culture beyond China and the art world in its understanding of politics being embedded into pop culture.

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