his third solo show with Western Exhibitions, MARK WAGNER
continues his exploration of the US Dollar as material, from cutting
up the bill for elaborate collages, to drawing, painting, and
printing on it. Subverting and subduing the almighty dollar thusly,
the symbol reverts to its simplest identity... that of ink on
show opens on Saturday, October 27 with a free public reception
from 5 to 8pm.
of the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney hang side by side, installed
in a stylized voting booth. On close examination, viewers see
that their faces are literally made of money. Cut up
US dollar bills form their entirety... Federal Reserve seals become
pupils, leaves and hollyhocks stand in for hair, framing and line-work
twist to form the contours of each face. Given the materials used,
it is unclear whether one should stuff a vote or a donation into
the ballot box. "Voting with your Pocketbook" offers
a critique of the US democratic process and its fixation on finance.
Can a competition waged over ginormous campaign war-chests, PACs,
and Super-PACs, really said to be democratic?
exhibition hosts hundreds of overprinted and drawn on dollar bills.
Some hang individually, others are taped together into larger
sheets. Coarsely pixelated pop imagery, overprinted grids, bar
graphs, and Rorschach ink blobs accompany pop poetry texts of
consumption and redemption. All together the drawings emphasize
that the US dollar and country of its origin represent vastly
different things to different people.
based artist Mark Wagner has been referred to as "the Michael
Jordan of glue" and "the greatest living collage artist".
His collage and artist books are collected by dozens of institutions.
They have shown at Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Portrait
Gallery, The Getty, and The Walker Art Center. His monumental
currency collage "Liberty" will be on view at the Haggerty
Museum in Milwaukee from August 22nd to December 22nd, 2012.