Shot of Art: Money is the muse
Money and the value of art have never been more closely tied one another. After finding out that a Jackson Pollock is valueed at $140 million, it i's impossible not to look at the work with this in mind. How can one focus solely on aesthetics when there are so many zeros on the price tag?
Local artist Adam Matak has thus cut right to the chase in his current exhibition of drawings at LE Gallery. Money as his muse. Entitled Objects of Value, the show comes at a time when Canadians are starting to saying goodbye to their old etching-printed paper money and hello to the digital-imaged polymer bills (well at least those of us who have $100 bills in our wallets). By contrast, Matak has created each of these machine printed bills deftly and meticulously by hand.
Matak's fixation on BIC pens and graffiti markers as his art-making tools, are essential to his style and the content of his works. In his words, these tools "mirror the banality of the show's thematic content while evoking a similar reconsideration of the relationship between the seemingly banal and the beautiful."
The gallery's strategic display of the drawings of our paper currency in a grid asks the viewer to examine the subtle variations between bills and the changes they've undergone. Most striking here, is that the Queen is the only figure to age, as is made evident in the artist's "4 Queens" piece. Here the various versions of the Queen are depicted side by side in lush blue pen, and the aging monarch turns from left to right in an eerie reminder that she is at once a human and a symbol.
Just like art is both capital and creative content.
Adam Matak's Objects of Value closes this weekend (November 27th) at LE Gallery.
Writing and photos Mary Edwards
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