Posts Tagged ‘Currency’

Artist of the moment…….money artist J.S.G. Boggs

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J.S.G. Boggs was born in the 1955 in Woodbury, New Jersey He is seen by some governments as a crook, though he works with only one side of the paper when he makes his trademark Boggs bills.

In the next few posts we will look other money painters. The Secret Service was established in 1865 to help combat fraud. One of the first artists they went after was John Haberle. His claim to fame happened when a respected art critic said his art used real stamps and real money glued to a board. When it was proven that the images were really paintings, a true legend was made. Haberle was able to fool the human eye. Below is an example of John Haberle’s style.

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In this clip we see the artist in action.

His birth name is Steve Litzner.

A sample of how he uses art as money. He makes both bills and notes. In most transactions notes are used with the premise that the receiver of the note realizes they are accepting art as currency. In most cases the person getting the note doesn’t realize the true value. I would imagine they are shocked to find out the true value of his work. A $10 Boggs bill can fetch more than $1000 on the private market.

A book was made of Boggs and his artwork titled Boggs, A Comedy of Values

He has done several currency works with his own unique style. One was a mural titled All the Worlds a Stage that concentrated on Shakespearean themes. Another was a design featuring Harriet Tubman on the $100 bill rather than Ben Franklin. The F.U.N. note you see in the gallery stands for the Florida United Numismatists.

He has been brought to court by foreign governments for his artwork. First was in 1986 in London. He faced 40 years on this charge. Another was in Australia three years later. He was acquitted on both accounts as he was able to prove the receivers of the notes knew they were not real. He work has been confiscated by the U.S. Government but he has never faced any charges here.

Though his charges were thrown out he was able to cause the Bank of England to change its ways. They now copyright all of their artwork so technically it isn’t to be reproduced at all.

I enjoy artists like this who break the mold. And how about John Haberle! His story about fooling the eye of an art critic reminds me of the two painters who were painting trompe with the subject matter being grapes. One artist’s painted grapes that fooled the other artist into believing it was real. When the second artist reveals his painting and birds came immediately. The other artist gave up in defeat saying that too fool a human is one thing, but to fool the birds is another! What an amazing technical skills are used to develop this style of art!

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