Due to my horrid studio practices, terrible organizational skills and grueling school schedule, I will not be creating any major studio paintings for a while. I need to take some time to seriously clean rearrange and organize my studio space.
I will have prints available of my most current work very soon and I will be working on photoshop pieces, sketchbook drawings, and small watercolor paintings to feed my expressive hunger and work out my creative muscles.
BEIJING — Chinese legal authorities have released the dissident artist Ai Weiwei after nearly three months of detention, likely ending a prosecution that had become a focal point of criticism of China’s human rights record, according to a report on Wednesday night by Xinhua, the state news agency.
Mr. Ai was reached on his cell phone shortly before 12:30 a.m. Thursday. “I’m released, I’m home, I’m fine,” he said in English. “In legal terms, I’m — how do you say — on bail. So I cannot give any interviews. But I’m fine.”
The Xinhua report said in English that the Beijing police department had released Mr. Ai “on bail because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from.” The police were also cited as saying that Mr. Ai had repeatedly said he was willing to pay the taxes he had evaded. The authorities say Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., a company controlled by Mr. Ai, evaded “a huge amount of taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents,” Xinhua reported.
“Bail” is the shorthand commonly used as an English translation of the Chinese term “qubao houshen,” which means obtaining a guarantee pending trial. It generally means that prosecutors have decided to drop charges against a suspect on certain conditions, including good behavior, and subject to monitoring during over a period of time during which charges could be reintroduced.
“This is a technique that the public security authorities sometimes use as a face-saving device to end controversial cases that are unwise or unnecessary for them to prosecute,” Jerome A. Cohen, a scholar of the Chinese legal system, said in an e-mail. “Often in such cases a compromise has been reached in negotiation with the suspect, as apparently it has been here.”
Mr. Cohen said Mr. Ai’s release “is very good news and perhaps the very best outcome that could have been expected in the circumstances of this difficult case.”
Mr. Ai’s family members have said that he is innocent of the accusations against him. During his detention, they also said he suffered from serious health problems that required medication and should be released immediately.
Amnesty International released a statement calling is release “an important step” but said that his detention “violated China’s own legal process.”
“Ai Weiwei must now be granted his full liberty, and not be held in illegal house arrest as has been the pattern with so many others recently released from arbitrary detention,” said the group’s Asia Pacific deputy director, Catherine Baber, in the statement.
Mr. Ai, a leading critic of China’s Communist Party leadership, was detained on April 3 at the main Beijing airport as he was about to board a flight for Hong Kong. The authorities did not immediately detail any charges against him, and his incarceration was widely viewed as an attempt to silence a prominent critic while authorities had time to decide on legal grounds for prosecuting him.
He was held in an undisclosed location during his detention. Mr. Ai is China’s most prominent artist internationally, and his detention prompted condemnation of the Chinese government from all corners of the globe.
Earlier this month, Anish Kapoor, a well-known sculptor based in Britain, canceled a show planned for the National Museum of China in Beijing to protest Mr. Ai’s treatment.
On May 15, police officers took Mr. Ai’s wife, Lu Qing, to see him. His sister, Gao Ge, said afterward that Ms. Lu had reported that Mr. Ai seemed healthy and was being given access to medication.
On May 20, Xinhua reported that the police had concluded that Mr. Ai had evaded taxes and destroyed financial documents. Ms. Gao said Mr. Ai was neither the legal representative nor chief executive of Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., and so should be freed.
Mr. Cohen said the circumstances of “qubao houshen” usually meant that the detainee had agreed to limitations on his or her behavior, and that the case could be quietly dropped if the detainee adheres to that agreement and other compromises made. Legally, the police can continue to pursue the case for up to one year. During that time, the suspect is allowed freedom of movement, but the police generally hold on to the person’s travel documents.
If every weekend was like the one that just transpired I would be a pretty happy guy:
Thursday = Live painting demo at a local art and social event. I spent a couple of hours working on a giant canvas that attracted a myriad of wonderful people that had nothing but amazingly positive things to say about my work. The night provided a much needed injection of confidence. I did damage the canvas during transport because the paint didn’t have time to dry. I actually generally treat my unstretched canvas works like garbage… a fallacy that needs to be corrected immediately.
Friday = Charity art auction I co curated to benefit ZOE and She Dances, two non-profits dedicating to helping victims of human trafficking. We were able to raise close to 5,000 for the 2 non-profits. Needless to say it was an amazing night and I was happy to be a part of something that made a real difference in the world.
Saturday = Opening reception for the exhibit I curated and presented work in. I was proud and thrilled to have my close friends and family see the fruits of my labor because sometimes not everyone close to me understands what I try to accomplish both as an artist and as a servant of the art world. So it was pretty great for some pretty important people in my life to see the gallery I direct and curate and for them to see my work in it.
All in all, I can’t wait until this because my 24 hour/7 day a week lifestyle and work instead of just a single weekend. A ton of hard work went into making it all happen but when love and passion is involved it rarely feels like work. It all just motivates me to keep going…