This exhibition is a sardonic attempt to subvert the idea of art as commodity. A group of emerging and mid-career Bay Area artists, and artists whose “currency” in the art world is a bit more global, use money to make art that will put up for sale to the public. Echoing the admonition to be thrifty, Oriane Stender makes exquisitly detailed quilts and wevings out of worn dollar bills. J.S.G.Boggs has made an international reputation by creating reproductions of U.S. currency and exchanging them for goods and services. His is simply an attempt to cut out the middle man (usually the commercial gallery) in an immediate barter of art for goods.
The United States Government views it otherwise and has attempted to prosecute him for counterfeiting. Ray Beldner, fascinated by the invocation of the divine in the world of commerce, employs the imprinted slogan of US currency (In God We Trust, E Pluribus Unum) in his work. He combines coins with other power signifiers to explore the discord between the corporate and natural worlds. Robin Clark scrapes the ink from bills, leaving shadowy images of these once powerful symbols. Lisa Kokin combines shredded currency with seemingly insignificant flea market objects in fetishistic sculpture that reverse assumptions of value. – Louise Sherman