Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dollar Dollar Bill Yall, The Cult of Celebrity On US Currency

Outsider art has always been a huge influence on my work and Rusty Knuckles is a testament to this in a nutshell. We are constantly seeking out new ideas and checking out what others are creating in order to keep up with current ideas, along with being inspired by others. 

Finding the work of James Charles was akin to first seeing the work of Winston Smith and then later realizing how deep the story line actually goes. If you care to plumb the depths of what he is doing, many a story will start to unfold and ultimately become a great conversation with other folks, on what we see as valuable. Is it really money or the cult of celebrity that inspires our interest in artwork on the United States currency? Triggerman over at Saving Country Music recently wrote an article on this topic with the suicide of Mindy McCready. It touches on a plethora of a great points and really gets down to the heart of the matter.

Link to original post on Off Magazine

Clint Eastwood reprising one of his famous roles into a new slot on our currency
"Any artwork associated with the ‘almighty dollar’ carries extra meaning. On the surface, manipulation of currency in any form is illegal. So any tampering, even a simple doodle, is a form of rebellion. The deeper you go, the narrative ‘gets richer’, raising questions about society’s value of the dollar and what it means to each person.

Now when you intertwine all of the symbolism and meaning of money with popular culture and the icons that embody it, your head starts to explode with what it can all mean  Here for your artistic enjoyment are twenty, dollar bill artworks by JAMES CHARLES, who debuted this incredible collection at the Shooting Gallery in San Francisco, California.

Albert Einstein presides above our collective buying conscious
Spend $5 and become a Hellraiser
Mr. T demands you spend this $50 wisely
As of last year, artist James Charles has been engrossed in an interesting new project; small in scale…but large in depth. He began drawing on dollar bills, for the sake of his own amusement; crudely altering the presidents’ faces to become monsters, celebrities, etc. After accidentally spending a few of his early pieces, James decided to stop carrying them in his wallet, and started putting them inside of a magazine for safe-keeping. The magazine folder eventually became a large scrapbook, showcasing bills of all denominations. He found ink and materials to match perfectly what the U.S. Mint uses on the bank notes, and began to experiment with ways to alter the font and script along the bottom of the bills. It became the perfect way for James to inject an additional layer of wit.

Altering currency in this way also poses questions regarding the true value of paper bills, something made with seemingly insignificant materials – that somehow fuels our country’s ever-shifting economy, and ultimately impacts living conditions around the globe. James has put a wrench in the recirculation process by claiming his role as an artist, and declaring these specific bills are not currency, but art objects. by SHOOTING GALLERY"

Salvador Dali being on a $5 dollar bill is absolutely surreal
Even though Van Gogh was Dutch, this is the best looking $10 we have ever seen
Tea Party Milf and agent provacateur to soccer moms world wide, Sarah Palin
Seeing Ronald McDonald on this $20 makes me think on just how many a day of these flow into stores world wide