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Art

Tiny Metal Plants, Animals, and Buildings are Liberated From Coins by Artist Micah Adams

August 31, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Toronto-based artist Micah Adams uses a jeweler’s saw to cut out the embossed animals, figures, and objects from coins of different sizes and denominations. The metal cut-outs are used to create tiny readymades and fun collages. From a growing pile of copper leaves taken from Canadian pennies, to intricate birds and flowers borrowed from foreign currency, each of Micah Adams works are hand cut using the same basic tool. Working at a smaller scale is something that the artist came to in art college while making sculptures and spending his free time in the jewelry and metal smithing department. The practice of cutting coins evolved out of using other materials.

“I was making small assemblages from things I’d collected over the years, tiny things like toys, bottle caps, beach finds and even teeth,” Adams tells Colossal. “Then I cast them in metal. They were like tiny bronzes or miniature monuments. That lead me to look for tiny things that were already metal that I could use. So I looked at coins and their designs for things I could cut-out.”

Micah Adams is currently working on another solo exhibition of his coin collages and other works which will open at MKG127 in Toronto in February 2020. He also has an Etsy shop where he sells earrings, tie tacks, and other keepsakes. For future updates and to see more of his art, follow Adams on Instagram.

 

 



Art Design Food

Cheese Slices, Condiments, and Other Object Collections Bound into Books by Ben Denzer

August 23, 2019

Andrew LaSane

“20 SLICES of American Cheese” Image: Ben Denzer/Catalog Press

Toying with the concept of what a book can be, American designer Ben Denzer (through his publishing house Catalog Press) binds unusual collections of objects to create humorous volumes that you’re unlikely to find in a library. The limited edition books have been sold in the Whitney Shop, landing in the hands of a few lucky collectors. The unique objects have also found their way into the collections of museums and universities around the world.

A graphic designer with a degree in Architecture and Certificate in the Visual Arts, Denzer has created books of bound cheese slices, ketchup and sweetener packets, napkins, sequentially numbered dollar bills, and other books. The covers and spines feature the Catalog Press logo as well as well bold text announcing what the “reader” will find inside. In an interview with Its Nice That, Denzer shared his stance on books as “both content and object; simultaneously sculpture and catalog, singular contained multitudes.” He added that through Catalog Press he can “use the idea of the book as a catalogue to explore these wackier ideas while at the same time experimenting with more constrained design moves.”

Ben Denzer’s exploration of books can also be seen in his Ice Cream Books project which pairs real books with their ice cream complement. To see more of his work, check out his online portfolio and follow Denzer on Instagram.

“20 SLICES of American Cheese”Image: Ben Denzer/Catalog Press

“5 KETCHUPS” Image: Ben Denzer/Catalog Press

“5 KETCHUPS” Image: Ben Denzer/Catalog Press

Image: Ben Denzer/Catalog Press

“INFLATABLE BOOK JACKET” Image: Ben Denzer/Catalog Press

“$200 IN ORDER” Image: Ben Denzer/Catalog Press

“FOUR FLIP BOOKS” Image: Ben Denzer/Catalog Press

“15 MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS” Image: Ben Denzer/Catalog Press

“30 NAPKINS from The Plaza Hotel” Image: Ben Denzer/Catalog Press

“200 FORTUNES” Image: Ben Denzer/Catalog Press

 

 



Art

Feminine Hairstyles From Popular Folklore Embroidered on British and American Currency by Noora Schroderus

July 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Finnish artist Noora Schroderus embroiders classic hairstyles inspired by well-known female characters of European folktales and Disney films onto the leaders featured on US and British currency. The hairstyles are reminiscent of Cinderella’s ball-ready bouffant or Rapunzel’s endless braid and examine the passive beauty associated with feminine characters in contrast with the masculine power of wealth. The banknotes also explore aspects of industrialization, pinning the production of money and capitalism against the slow process and gesture of handmade embroidery. You can see a wider range of hairstyles sewn on currency from around the world on Schroderus’s website.

Exhibition view from Serlachius Museum Göstä, Mänttä Finland

 

 



Art

Towering Murals by Blu on the Streets of Italy Confront Environmental and Societal Woes

May 29, 2017

Christopher Jobson

La Cuccanga, 2017

From climate change to capitalism run amok, street artist Blu (previously) pulls no punches in his soaring multi-story murals on the streets of Italy. While mixed with a healthy dose of sarcasm and humor, the inspiration behind each artwork is anything but funny as he translates searing critiques into aesthetically beautiful paintings. For instance a 2016 piece criticizing housing problems in the Celadina district of Bergamo, Italy depicts cramped residents as a brightly hued rainbow but leaves a small group of authorities in the lower right completely devoid of color. Collected here is a selection of murals from the last year, you can see more detailed shots by flipping through his blog. You can also get an idea of how he works—perched on a tiny suspended seat—in this short GIF.

Porto Torres, 2016

Celadina, 2016

Catina, 2016

Alta Voracita, 2016

 

 



Design Illustration

Hungarian Banknote Concept Designed by Barbara Bernát

February 23, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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For her MA degree project at the University of West Hungary, Budapest-based graphic designer Barbara Bernát devised this lovely concept for the Hungarian euro. The project involved five denominations of increasing scale, each made with a set of copperplate etchings; animals of increasing size on the front and related plants on the back. The kicker is a security feature that reveals the skeleton of each animal under UV light, not unlike the new Canadian passport. Regardless of whether this would translate well into actual currency, this is phenomenal way to get hired. Design students take note. (via Kottke)

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Art

Remarkable Hobo Nickels Carved from Clad Coins by Paolo Curcio

December 27, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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About two years we featured a great selection of skull nickels, a numismatic curiosity where miniature bas relief sculptures are carved into coins, an artform that’s broadly referred to as hobo nickel art. While researching a follow-up article on Hobonickelart.com I stumbled onto the work of Paolo Curcio (aka “mrthe”) who appears to have taken the process of carving coins to an entirely new level. Using a variety of different coins the Barcelona-based artist creates etched homages to pop culture, illustrations of figures from literature, and most commonly: macabre portraits of skulls and death, probably the most prevalent theme in hobo nickel art.

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One aspect of Curcio’s process that’s really amazing is his ability to use coins made from multiple layers of metal (referred to as clad coins) which he then strategically reveals to create colored flourishes and background patterns. You can see much more of his work over on his website, and keep an eye on his Ebay page for occasional coin listings.

 

 



Art Illustration

Birds on Bills by Paula Swisher

November 7, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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It’s been almost two years since we first checked out the work of Pennsylvania artist and designer Paula Swisher and her series of birds drawn in books. Lately the artist has been drawing on her mail, often adapting the color (and subject!) to the context of the mail piece. See lots more here.