Currency Collages by Mark Wagner

Brooklyn-based artist Mark Wagner creates impressive currency collages using only $1 bills.

"The one dollar bill is the most ubiquitous piece of paper in America. Collage asks the question: what might be done to make it something else? It is a ripe material: intaglio printed on sturdy linen stock, covered in decorative filigree, and steeped in symbolism and concept. Blade and glue transform it-reproducing the effects of tapestries, paints, engravings, mosaics, and computers—striving for something bizarre, beautiful, or unbelievable… the foreign in the familiar."

Wagner also created this 17ft tall by 6ft 3in wide collage of the Statue of Liberty made of 81,895 pieces cut from 1,121 U.S. dollar bills.

"A lot of my dollar collage work focuses on issues of American identity, and there isn't a much stronger symbol of American Identity than either the dollar bill or Miss Liberty. To change the one into the other seemed to fit. I'd wanted to 'scale up' for a while and really show some commitment to the work, and reproducing the statue in proportion to Washington's portrait on the one was just enough of a stretch."

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