economically interesting art for economically interesting times

Mark Wagner uses $1 bills to mess with your head.  The mister pointed me in the direction of his oeuvres last night and I haven’t turned back.  His works are sometimes overtly and sometimes subtly challenging, but always technically impeccable and visually stunning.


Of his work Wagner saysThe one dollar bill is the most ubiquitous piece of paper in America. Collage asks the question: what might be done to make it something else? It is a ripe material: intaglio printed on sturdy linen stock, covered in decorative filigree, and steeped in symbolism and concept. Blade and glue transform it-reproducing the effects of tapestries, paints, engravings, mosaics, and computers-striving for something bizarre, beautiful, or unbelievable… the foreign in the familiar.

Can you say ‘gestalt’?



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3 responses to “economically interesting art for economically interesting times

  1. I guess in Canada we’re easily bored — especially as far as our new coins are concerned. We’re always adding something new and noteworthy to the centre of the $2 coin: special edition this; special edition that. I suppose it’s only a matter of time until the current government allows one of its corporate buddies to do a special edition coin run with its brand imprinted on every single coin. Then that loonie will be truly looney.

    On that uplifting note, I’m off to get more coffee! 🙂

    And I’m not even feeling cynical today. Sheesh….

  2. I envy his patience, and the thought process that goes into those pieces must be amazing as well. I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I am only on my first cup of coffee, but the collages were mesmerizing. Can you imagine how insanely tedious it would have been to sew that jacket entirely out of labels? Wow, that man is my hero!

  3. Ann – you crack me up. I’ve seriously been having one of *those* weeks and it’s all I can do to be optimistic. Seems I may not be the only one…=)

    Tony – I know, eh? I don’t know how he does it, but I’m glad he does. Did you check out his plan images for cut lines and stuff? Crazy. Obsessive. Wonderful.

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