Thursday, January 20, 2011

Money Art? Art and Money....

What is art and what is money? When does one turn into the other and vice versa? These are some rather perplexing questions and I enjoy examining those relationships in the art I create. As I am very interested in the relationships between art, money and value, and those are the topics explored in my body of work "Monetary Bondage". I often do research on the topics and discover some interesting things along the way.  

Sadly, one of the first artistic objects that one might stumble across when looking for information on these topics is Damien Hirst's "For the Love of God". This is a widely talked about work of "art", and I would rather not discuss it in great detail. I only mention it as it helps demonstrate the relationship between art, money and value.
Damien Hirst, "For the Love of God"

There are many other artists that are far more deserving of our attention than the artist previously mentioned. 
My personal approach to the subject of art and money and my personal interest in the topic arises from the "concept" of money and what people value and why? 

Meanwhile investigating these topics I learned about an artist who's work closely resembles my own in concept, but is very different in terms of execution. The "Exchanghibition Bank" is a project by artist Dadara that revolves and almost overlaps my own interests in what people value in terms of "money/art" and why. 

When I first wrote this post (in early 2011), the "Exchanghibition Bank" project was still in development. Since then it has become quite a success, I had the privilege to meet Dadara and even began a collaboration with him as we have a mutual interest in these topics. 

Monetary Bondage + Exchanghibition Bank Collaboration
There has been an ever increasing amount of people and artists taking an interest in these topics. Many of them appear on the "Art as Money Blog" where I originally found out about the "Exchanghibition Bank" project. It has been interesting to see the interest increase (no pun intended), and here are a few of the observations I have made through the years.  

It is fairly obvious to see that financial institutions have continually failed throughout history and continue to do so today, yet people continue to put their faith in money. In today's financial world of digital banking and ridiculous sums of money being thrown around with little consideration, oversight or accountability; one begins to wonder what the heck the money we see on a daily basis, like a dollar bill, is really worth compared to a million, or even a billion, not to mention a trillion dollars. Sums of money we can't begin to imagine. It becomes difficult to imagine because the majority of money today exists only in theory inside computer banks (This always boggles my mind) so what is our money really worth, I mean when was the last time you saw a trillion dollars in real life??? What a Trillion Dollars Looks Like!! 

Art, money or both; is there a difference? Only you can be the judge...
(100 Dollars? : Daniel Icaza)  
Sums of money like this usually don't exist in single physical places (if they exist at all) which is what makes objects like Damien Hirst's "For the Love of God" so intriguing. Theoretically nothing in the world can really match its material worth, but whether or not the monetary cost of a piece of art makes it a "good" or "successful" piece of art is up to every individual viewer. I know I ask myself on a daily bases why a one dollar bill is worth less than a hundred dollar bill simply because of a design change?
It is my hope that by creating art that questions the value and concept of money; mankind can move onto a more logical form of economy. For this reason it brings me great joy to see artists like Dadara creating art that challenges our concepts of value and money.

Think I could buy a coke with this?
 ("Quarter Dollar?" By: Daniel Icaza)
Thank you for taking an interest in these topics and I wish you all the best on your path of discovery. If you have anything interesting or relevant to share, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Until next time peace and love to all the fellow travellers. ;o)


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