Beasts made from collages of one dollar bills.


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Crustaceans are a very large group of arthropods, comprising almost 52,000 described species, and are usually treated as a subphylum. They include various familiar animals, such as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles (from wiki).

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This collage art by Mark Wagner is pretty wild. As well, there's a great interview you can read at The Morning News.

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.

Anyway, I've collected the ones he done on organisms in particular. He seems to like crustaceans in particular.


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The interview also has an interesting question about the legality of such artwork, posed when the writer asked: I remember hearing when I was a kid that it's illegal to throw away or tear up money. Do you know if this is true? Do people ask you about it?

I think, by the current letter of the law, yes, it is illegal. Whether it should be illegal is the question that follows. The language in existing laws is convoluted and a bit confusing. Most related laws punish offenders only "for fraudulent intent." And many of the pertinent laws seem a bit vestigial. A hundred and fifty years ago, bank notes weren't issued from the Federal Reserve but from individual banks. They were easier to mess with and altering scams abounded so maybe they needed stricter policing. Me--I'm not trying to fool anyone. There's no scam here. I'm not hurting anyone by making my art. Through it I keep a couple of assistants employed, generate a bunch of tax revenue, and give people something to look at and think about. I find it curious that so many people assume it should be illegal--that our culture has this reverence for little pieces of paper.

Anyway, beyond invertebrates, his collages are amazing - do check out it website.

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'course that's two crustaceans and an arachnid chelicerate, but who's counting?

very cool art.

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

Scorpions (first collage) are arachnids, not crustaceans, but the artwork is very cool regardless of taxonomy.

By anonymous (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

I know it's crazy! God likes science and doesn't like to do anything that someone else can do SO he took Mary from the past and put her in the future where he gave a sample of his DNA to Dr. Nefertiel (he is a half breed human/orfald.. the orfalds where humans that left New Earth a couple hundred thousand years prior and ended up becoming a new species (divergent evolution or some balogna) ANYWAYS! they came back oen day and made some sterile babies that were almost always way smarter than everybody else OMG!) so... they got Gods DNA and made a super God babie (Jesus) and then God put them back in time to Old Earth... it's all so funny and proven with proof and evidentally there is a lot of evidence to back it up... It's more than just a theory, you know?