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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 32, August 12, 2007, Article 12

MONEY ARTIST PETER SIMENSKY PROFILED

The San Diego Union-Tribune published a profile August 5 of money
artist Peter Simensky:

"Peter Simensky makes art about money. Currency is his medium. He
crafts intricate collages from existing notes, keeping them true to
scale. These bills are the main attraction in his exhibition at the
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego downtown, “Cerca Series:
Peter Simensky,” curated by Lucia Sanroman.

"The Brooklyn-based artist isn't the first to make art about or
with money – and we can be sure he won't be the last. Nineteenth-
century fool-the-eye painters, including William Harnett and John
Peto, liked to render American notes in their canvases. In their
early 20th-century dada days, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray had fun
with the concept of money; Duchamp appeared as sort of satyr on
“Monte Carlo Bond” (1924) in a Man Ray photograph.

"More recently, there have been artists who draw their own bills.
J.S.G. Boggs is a notable, sometimes notorious example, who has
been doing it for years. He has happily substituted his meticulously
executed versions of currency for real ones when making a purchase,
telling the person at the receiving end he'll give them the option
of taking real money or Boggs' bills. Still, this hasn't always
kept him out of trouble; he was arrested at least twice for
counterfeiting and acquitted on both occasions.

"Some artists have generated their own currency, distinct from
conventional money. The late Edward Kienholz is highly regarded
for life-size sculptures that offer gut wrenching social commentary,
but his “Watercolors” are a trenchant take on artistic reputation
and the commodity value of art. The words he stenciled on paper,
the same way each time and against the same lightly colored background,
were for goods or money. He made them for barter. So, if he put the
words “For a New Oven and Range” in the work, that meant he received
an oven and range in return. He did the same for horses, a suit,
screwdrivers and even a jeep. He also made them in different
dominations for a 1969 exhibition, writing an amount on each –
from $1 to $1000 in systematic increments – and selling them for
the amount on the picture surface.

"Simensky's art mixes both approaches. He makes bills, but unlike
Boggs he has no desire to make you think that his resemble the real
thing. Simensky's money is utterly implausible, verging on slapstick.
He combines faces, so that glasses are too big and features don't
match. Call it comic currency."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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