All About the Benjamins.
June 15, 2009 2:39 PM   Subscribe

Mark Wagner makes money into art.
posted by grapefruitmoon (17 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Pretty cool; especially how he uses "blank" portions of the bill to make a new canvas.
posted by Brocktoon at 2:48 PM on June 15, 2009

Wagner can blame the Fed for devaluing his work.
*All about the Georges, really.
posted by gman at 3:02 PM on June 15, 2009

Wow. Thanks for these!
posted by filthy light thief at 3:10 PM on June 15, 2009

I'd asked around 10 or 15 people for suggestions... Finally one lady friend asked the right question, "Well, what do you love most?" That's how I started painting money. - Andy Warhol
posted by Joe Beese at 3:15 PM on June 15, 2009

Some other artists doing interesting things with or about currency are Ray Beldner and J S G Boggs.
posted by twsf at 3:50 PM on June 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

At first I thought it was going to be this. It almost pains me to see it cut up, but I guess it helps fight inflation.. (And any starting bids on his work, considering the intrinsic value)
posted by hypersloth at 3:50 PM on June 15, 2009

These are incredible. I only wish there were a way to zoom in on each piece to examine it more closely.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 3:51 PM on June 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I use parentheses all wrong.
posted by hypersloth at 3:52 PM on June 15, 2009

Neat. Conversely, Art Williams used art to make money.
posted by exogenous at 4:05 PM on June 15, 2009

Shoot, that's easy.

The real trick is making art into money.
posted by notyou at 4:06 PM on June 15, 2009

I agree with Captain Cardanthian!, a little zoom action would bring a lot more love. Regardless, a lot of these pieces are fantastic.
posted by stagewhisper at 4:34 PM on June 15, 2009

for the love of god dude
posted by yoHighness at 5:27 PM on June 15, 2009

These are amazing.

As an aside, it is illegal under federal law to mutilate U.S. money. The statute governing this requires the guilty party have an "intent to render [the money] unfit to be reissued[.]" The intent requirement seems necessary to protect people like me who accidentally bleach their cash in the washing machine (or once, had a cat that ate a $20 bill), etc. I wonder if an artist like Wagner could avoid prosecution under the statute by arguing that his intent in cutting up money was not to destroy the money, but to create art. It would be interesting imo, however I've never even heard a case of someone prosecuted for mutilating money.
posted by applemeat at 7:18 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure about Wagner's methods, but from what I can see, it looks like digital, as opposed to "manual" collage.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:22 PM on June 18, 2009

from what I can see, it looks like digital, as opposed to "manual" collage.

I thought that too at first. I also wondered if maybe he cut up photocopies of the bills (which imo would have been less stressful, but the end results would not be as powerful). But according to Wagner's project statement and free-hand cutting diagram, this is cut up currency, not Photoshop magic (also, this is a guy who claims that he doesn't even use email). His statement goes on to explain that making one collage required 200 single bills. Using real money probably explains why Wagner appears to use only $1 notes.
posted by applemeat at 5:26 AM on June 19, 2009

Wow. That's some serious dedication. And even more serious skill.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:06 AM on June 19, 2009

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