Who Said This: Ai Weiwei Or Andy Warhol?

The answers will likely surprise you.

They may not have much in common on the surface, but the intersections between American pop art icon Andy Warhol and Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei—each one of the most influential and controversial personalities of their time—is the subject of the Andy Warhol Museum’s forthcoming exhibition “Andy Warhol / Ai Weiwei,” which opens at the Pittsburgh museum on June 4.

Developed by The Warhol and the National Gallery of Victoria with Weiwei’s participation, the show seeks to carve out a dialogue between the two artists through more than 350 works on paper, film, photography, painting, sculpture, wallpapers, and publishing. The exhibition will feature a new installation from Weiwei’s famed “Forever Bicycles” series, as well as over 500 Polaroid pictures taken by Warhol of friends, colleagues, and Factory regulars.

In honor of said dialogue, we took a look at some of their words on art, culture, politics, and inspiration. Can you tell who said what? Take a guess and then check out the answer key below.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol (1986) Photo: courtesy of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol (1986).
Photo: courtesy of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

1. “The seed is a household object but at the same time it is a revolutionary symbol.”

2. “By giving out my opinions, I realize who I am.”

3. “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

4. “Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery.”

5. “Whatever I do is not art. Let’s say it is just objects or materials, movies or writing, but not art, OK?”

6. “An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.”

7. “A nation that has no music and no fairytales is a tragedy.”

8. “Everyone needs a fantasy.”

9. “I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.”

10. “I think there is a responsibility for any artist to protect freedom of expression.”

11. “I’m afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.”

12. “I’ll bet there are a lot of artists that nobody hears about who just make more money than anybody. The people that do all the sculptures and paintings for big building construction. We never hear about them, but they make more money than anybody.”

13. “It’s about communicating. It’s about how we use the language which can be part of our history or part of other history, and how we transform it into today’s language.”

14. “Why do people think artists are special? It’s just another job.”

15. “I think it’s more important to show your work to the public.”

Ai Weiwei. Image: courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum

Ai Weiwei.
Image: courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum



1. Ai Weiwei

2. Ai Weiwei

3. Andy Warhol

4. Andy Warhol

5. Ai Weiwei

6. Andy Warhol

7. Ai Weiwei

8. Andy Warhol

9. Andy Warhol

10. Ai Weiwei

11. Andy Warhol

12. Andy Warhol

13. Ai Weiwei

14. Andy Warhol

15. Ai Weiwei

Andy Warhol / Ai Weiwei” will be on display at the Andy Warhol Museum from June 4–August 28, 2016.

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