Mark Wagner macht Collagen aus Dollarnoten. Was soll man mit Dollars in Zeiten wie diesen auch sonst mit Geldscheinen machen? Eben. The Morning News hat ein Interview mit ihm.
How did you start working with money, specifically dollar bills?
I was making a lot of collage and artists books using Camel Cigarette packages. To a large extent it was the familiarity of the pack for people that made the work effective. That led me to the familiarity of the dollar bill. I started small with the bills. Bending strips of the bills became white noise so I started doing color separation. I like old, dirty crumpled bills, but I only use newer ones so the contrast between light and dark is more pronounced. Though I mostly use ones, I did cut up a $100 bill once because I needed Franklin’s portrait. I’ve been working with currency now for eight years and I’m still discovering new ways to approach the material. It takes a lot of patience. When I first started making portraits I thought, “Oh, this is it.” But then I saw a show of tapestries at The Met and realized I should go bigger.
How big are we talking?
A lot bigger. I’m currently working on a 16-foot-tall Statue of Liberty in scale with Washington’s portrait on the bill. I’d done the torch panel years ago and a patron liked the project enough to commission the rest of the piece. The collage of the statue will be accompanied by the work records and a note of its making.