Ai Weiwei named artist of the year by GQ Magazine
4 September 2019On the 3 September 2019, Ai Weiwei was named artist of the year at the annual GQ Men of the Year Awards, in association with Hugo Boss. Ai was presented the 'Maddox Gallery Artist Award' by actor and collector Russell Tovey at a ceremony at Tate Modern.
In an interview published to coincide with the announcement, Ai told Dylan Jones that, "You know, I was exiled when I was born and I never consciously knew about what it’s like being pushed out of your home or living in a world where nobody is willing to understand you or where you are treated as some kind of enemy to society. I can never really leave China, but I have a chance to become a so-called free man, even though I realise it’s not possible to be a free man. It’s not a free world, even in the US or Europe. It’s a relative illusion rather than truth because we cannot meet the challenges.”
Photography by Frederike Helwig