Currency Collage

Just in time for Independence Day, artist and co-founder of the Booklyn Artists Alliance Mark Wagner opens an exhibit tonight titled Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death. Wagner's collage art explores the intersection of art and politics, and he often uses dollar bills as art supplies (called "currency collage"). His monumental 17' x 6' collage, Liberty, (part of it seen above) is an altered Statue of Liberty composed of 81,895 pieces cut from 1,121 US dollar bills. For the current exhibition, Wagner actually built a custom viewing platform that allows for closer examination.  

According to the press release, "Wagner continues to insert his particular brand of word play and satire in everything he touches, proving that a seemingly limited material - the dollar bill - is for him limitless." Considering the economic climate--and with Wall Street just about three miles south--Wagner's ability to impact his viewers is magnified.

Thirty of Wagner's recent works in letterpress, wood and bronze sculpture, abstract painting, and mixed media collage round out the exhibit. Below are a few pieces on exhibit, a vivid and compelling group of works.

Red Tape, 2011?? Currency collage and mixed-media on panel, 24 x 24 inches.

*&?#!, 2011 Currency collage and mixed-media on panel, 12 x 16 inches.

Cutting Ties, 2011?? Currency collage and mixed-media on panel, 30 x 18 inches.

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death is at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery in downtown Manhattan through August 12.