Dollar Bills Make Good Art


Photo: dan tague
DanTague is turning American dollar bills into an art form. Which is an interesting twist, given that the art market is all about money.

This series of work, all using old folded American dollar bills of different denominations, is a comment on life in the United States.
Photo: dan tague

He has been called the Rembrandt of Cash. Tague's work is not really origami because the recycled dollar bills aren't perfectly folded. They look more crumpled; like they just came out of a trouser pocket. Except that on closer examination, each one has a message. The message is achieved by folding them so carefully that words and phrases appear.

Tague has said that his art was "as if someone is talking to me through my folded money." Tague started doing this kind of art by chance; he was sitting on a bus and playing with a bill. Since he likes playing with words and twisting their meaning, the two actions came together in the middle of the night and a new art form was born.

He is working on two different but related themes in his dollar art. One is called The Price of Freedom where he has created messages of empowerment from folded bills. These include proclamations such as United We Stand, I Am Free, Lest We Forget, Don't Tread on Me and Reality Sucks. There is even an environmental one: Save the Coast and We Need a Revolution.


Photo: dan tague

You can wear his art and the dollar on your chest. A dollar from each purchase goes to New Orleans Habitat for Humanity.


Photo: the

If you want to try and don't want to spend the money, try Financial Padding. First seen at designboom, it is intended for package cushioning, and these banknote look-alikes are reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable.


Photo: goss-michael foundation

And hot off the press: the winner of the $100,000 Hugo Boss Prize 2010, Hans-Peter Feldmann, has chosen to post 100,000 older, pre-circulated one dollar US bills on the wall of the Guggenheim Museum in New York as his exhibition. He says: "'I began making art in the '50's, at that time there was no money in the art world. so for me 100,000 USD is very special. it's incredible really. and I would like to show the quantity of it."

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