In April, we were lucky enough to participate in a Chelsea gallery tour hosted by Doris Athineos, Senior Art and Antiques Editor of Traditional Home magazine. One of our stops was to the Pavel Zoubok Gallery on 23rd Street - one of the few (he may have even said ONLY?!) galleries in New York to focus solely on collage, assemblage and mixed media installation. We were especially taken with artist Mark Wagner, who uses actual US dollar bills to create collage. The artist views this medium as a way to address "cultural, social, political and symbolic roles that money plays in our society."
Each piece we viewed had a huge impact - the thought of collaging with actual currency seemed like quite a shock at first thought, but as the gallery pointed out, any other artistic medium would have simply been purchased with those dollar bills.
And, of course the peacock motif Wagner collage...
We were intrigued to see this very related installation at the Guggenheim Museum over the weekend: 100,000 one dollar bills attached to the walls of a gallery hall. After winning $100,000 from the Hugo Boss Prize last November, German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann decided he would make a statement by tacking it all, in $1 increments to the walls of the Guggenheim.
In an interview with the NYTimes, Feldmann says: “I’m 70 years old, and I began making art in the ’50s. 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's a powerful installation and one, along with Mark Wagner's work, which makes quite a statement on the value of a dollar.