Matthew Hincman writes:
It's been a while since you posted about my project. I am still dropping the tokens in the streets! I also minted 50 fine silver coins. I have been selling them for $40 each, with a copper coin included.
From the earlier E-Sylum item:
Matthew Hinçman is what some people call a guerilla artist. Guerilla Art, sometimes called Street Art, is unsanctioned art that is developed and displayed in public places. Guerilla art is more than graffiti. It is art designed to surprise and make the public think and sometimes participate.
One of Hinçman's newest projects is the creation of Pomme de Terre (French for "Potato") and Pomme en l'Air ("Apple in the Air") tokens. Hinçman describes them as "loosely based on mid-19th century Hard Times Tokens."
I asked Matthew for some more details. He writes:
I made the sculptural reliefs in the basins myself, and BEX did the engraving of the dies. They had also done another project for me: Calafia Ruins coins based on the 1797 British Cartwheel Penny.
From the Calafia Ruins web page:
Calafia Ruins, 2002
Stolper Residence, La Jolla, California
For this installation, I minted my first coins, which then inspired an architectural folly at the edge of the landscape designed by Andy Spurlock. Calafia is the fictitious Queen of the fictitious "Island of California" from the novel Sergas de Esplandian of 1510, written by Garcia Ordoñez de Montalvo. It seems that Cortez had read this "worthless romance" and named the peninsula we now know as Baja California after the fictitious island populated by an amazonian race of women led by the brave warrior Queen Calafia.
The obverse of the coin depicts the Queen in profile, modeled after fellow graduate student and theatre major Marsha Stephanie Blake. The reverse of the coin has a small armada of ships, a griffin, which the women of California used in their wars against men, and an actual map of the State of California from the late 17th Century depicting it as an island. There are many famous maps from the 16th Century up to the 18th Century that clearly - yet erroneously - show California as an island. The story even told of the only metal the women had to work with was gold.
Neat story, nice coin!
To visit the Calafia Ruins web page, see:
For more information on BEX Engraving, see:
To order the "Hard Times" coins, see:
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
COINS FOR HARD TIMES: ARTIST MAKES HIS OWN MONEY
Wayne Homren, Editor
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