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More Arrests Connected to Ai Weiwei and LA MoCA’s Street Art Exhibition

Given the events of recent days, we’re thinking we should start a new weekly feature called “This Week in Artist Arrests.” We’re hoping we don’t have to, but if things continue as they’ve been, consider this the inaugural post. First up, another detainment by Chinese officials of someone connected to artist Ai Weiwei, who was arrested himself and has now been missing for several weeks. Adding to the growing list of other friends, relatives and colleagues who have been whisked away to points unknown, this week popular Chinese musician Zuoxiao Zuzhou and his wife Xiao Li were apprehended by government officials and have not been heard from since. As the Guardian reports, Zuzhou, a longtime friend of the missing artist, had written a piece for a Hong Kong newspaper entitled, “Who Doesn’t Love Ai Weiwei?” the day before he and his wife were detained.

Closer to home, the round-up of street artists continues in Los Angeles. Following French artist Space Invader‘s arrest last week, the LA Times reports that popular “graffiti writer” Revok has been arrested at LAX “as he prepared to board a plane for Ireland.” The artist was charged with having violated his probation related to earlier vandalism charges and has now been sentenced to 180 days in jail. Both Invader and Revok have pieces in LA MoCA‘s current and controversial Art in the Streets exhibition, which has caught the ire of local officials who claim the show glorifies graffiti and has spawned an increase in vandalism in the area.

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