Eye Candy (20)
By: Peggy Nelson | Categories: Browbeating, Kudos

This week’s Eye Candy follows the money. Specifically, the coin of various realms, which tends to profile heads of state.

catwoman

birdman

Designer Andre Levy saw potential where the rest of us see only pocket change, and has updated various profiles to reflect superheroes, cartoon characters, pop portraits, and, somewhat unexpectedly, Karl Lagerfeld.

lagerfeld

speedracer

bride

mozart

Coins are actually massively-reproduced little sculptures. This project brings individual character to each replica, and makes us think: Are we able to like one cent more than others, just by injecting new stories in it?

—Andre Levy

Levy’s idea and execution are gaining digital currency, and no wonder. By marrying the idea of miniature painting directly to a coin, these painted pop fusions are right on the money.

einstein

Eye Candy is reminded of “Banksy of Bulgaria,” whose pop-inflected paint job on a Soviet war monument you may remember from Reuters, or the Mail.

bulgaria1

bulgaria2

And the focus on faces also brings to mind the origami’d currency of Yosuke Hasegawa, whose manipulations turn the money back on itself to become its own, lightly-3D decoration.

moneygami

Of course, before you try resurrecting the enamel paints from your discarded model kits, U.S. enthusiasts may want to familiarize themselves with the legal grey area that is Title 18, Part I, Chapter 17, Section 331 of the US Code: Mutilation, diminution, and falsification of coins.

Then again, Eye Candy wagers you’ve come to save Alex, not to spend him.

clockwork

***

Tales you Lose: Tumblr; Facebook
Banksy of Bulgaria
Yosuke Hasegawa
18 U.S.C. § 331

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Peggy Nelson is Arts Editor at HiLobrow, covering art, art-makers, and the virtual life; she was also HiLobrow's first Artist in Residence. She is a new media artist whose work involves fractured narratives in film, augmented reality, Twitter, and even objects on occasion. Follow her on Twitter at @otolythe.