A Dissident’s Lens on 1980s New York

He was a New York street artist — “a better painter than sketcher,” as a former colleague told City Room in May. He’s the brains behind 12 statues installed near the Plaza Hotel this spring. But the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s photographs of New York are the focus at a new exhibit up this week at the Asia Society Museum.

Lately, Mr. Ai, 54, is probably best known as an outspoken critic of the Chinese Communist Party. While Mr. Ai was in detention, the museum was not sure whether the exhibit — a “newly discovered archive” that showcases more than 200 photos — could go on at all.

But it did. It’s a fresh view of 1980s New York. And it’s up on the Lens blog.

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