My friend Eric introduced me to Mark Wagner’s currency collages a few years ago in Chelsea. It seems to me that today’s economic climate is a perfect time to share them. These collages, made exclusively with the U.S. Dollar, speak to the cultural, social and political roles that money plays in our society.
Mark Wagner, originally from the Midwest, is a Brooklyn based artist who writes and makes books in addition to his collages. His statement on his currency collages is as follows:
The 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.
The detail on these collages is amazing. The second and third collages above also show zoomed-in sections to appreciate even the tiniest image.