Ai Weiwei's Surveillance Camera makes $400,000

Ai Weiwei's Surveillance Camera made $400,000 at Heritage Auctions on October 28.

It highlighted a sale of post-war and contemporary art in New York.

Weiwei camera Heritage
Ai Weiwei has been unabashedly critical of the current regime in China

The auction house explained: "The sculpture is a clear example of Ai's method: the combination of traditional Chinese modes of production, Duchampian appropriation and conceptual art principles.

"The sculpture was hand-carved from a single block of white marble from a quarry near Beijing, which served Imperial China and was also used in Mao Tse Tung's mausoleum - a material of great importance in Chinese cultural history.

"Additionally, it was modeled on the cameras that were positioned by police outside Ai's house�Ǫ

"As is well known, Ai was placed under house arrest and surveillance by the Chinese police in November 2010."

Ai's record stands at £2.8m ($4.3m) for a work titled Zodiac (Animal Heads) at Phillips earlier this year.

Mel Ramos' A Sinister Figure Lurks in the Shadows (1962) was another highlight, selling for $173,000.

The work, which depicts Batman, is part of Ramos' series of superhero paintings.

The consigner swapped it for a stack of comic books during the early 1960s. It was thought lost for many years and has only recently resurfaced.

Leon Benrimon of Heritage explained the work's appeal: "This painting of Batman not only epitomizes the truly incredible talents of Mel Ramos, but also exudes the simplicity and invincibility of all comic book heroes with whom we have grown to love.

"This work poignantly reveals one of Ramos' five missing paintings from his comic book series, the artist's first mature body of work. It's got a great story to tell."

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