Using thin strips of dissected currency from around the world, Chinese creative firm Senseteam (website currently down) has composed a series of portraits for a book and poster series entitled Big Business 3 meant to “reflect the subtle relationships and influences across money, desire, society, nations, and human beings.” The project won a gold award at the Design for Asia Award 2011 and you can see much more over on designboom.
Too. Much. Fun. While not particularly a new idea, Reddit user MadSon11 recently photographed a great mashup self-portrait using the lower half of Alexander Hamilton’s head from a U.S. $10 bill (top photo). An instant meme was born, and soon dozens of money faces were pouring in from all over the world. The hilarity continues on Visual News.
My friend Ben (previously) shot me a link to this article about carved coins called Hobo Nickels. Although the history of carving miniature bas relief sculptures into coins stretches back to the 18th century if not earlier, it was greatly popularized in the early 20th century with the introduction of the Buffalo nickel. This particular coin was minted using soft metal and was imprinted with the portrait of an indian with bold features, making it easier to deface and transform into the portraits of other people, animals, or even scenery. Add to that the idle hands of unemployed artists during the depression (thus, “hobo”) and soon a flood of curious numismatic treasures were born. Most of the images on hobo nickels are too folk artsy for my taste, however a number of artists etched away the flesh of the subject to reveal these awesomely macabre skulls. Hobo nickel carving remains a popular hobby today and it even has a society. Don’t you wish we had actual money that looked like this? Images linked to their sources, most of which are live Ebay auctions. (thnx, ben!)
Last November German conceptual artist Hans-Peter Feldmann was named the winner of the eighth Biennal Hugo Boss Prize, a bi-annual award bestowed by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for significant achievement in contemporary art, with an attached honorarium of $100,000. In a unique gesture to the museum Feldmann proposed the idea of creating an installation that would involve tacking 100,000 $1 bills to the walls of a large gallery off the Frank Lloyd Wright ramp. Via the NY Times:
“I’m 70 years old, and I began making art in the ’50s,” Mr. Feldmann said in a telephone interview from his studio in Düsseldorf. “At that time there was no money in the art world. Money and art didn’t exist. So for me $100,000 is very special. It’s incredible really. And I would like to show the quantity of it.”
It took museum art handlers roughly 13 days to pin the out-of-circulation bills to the wall and to condense the surface area required by so much currency the dollars were slightly overlapped. The exhibition will be up May 20–November 2, 2011. The photographs above by David Heald were provided courtesy the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.