Cash is King: Saatchi Gallery exhibition showcases creative artworks that utilise banknotes

This Thursday, Prints & Originals Gallery at Chelsea’s Saatchi Gallery opens its Cash is King exhibition that showcases various artworks inspired by and utilising banknotes and the meanings behind it.

cash is king saatchi gallery
Top: Johnny Cash ($1 Note) by Nick Reynolds, collage on banknote. Bottom: Funny Money (£5 Note) by Josh Usmani, paint on banknote. Courtesy of Saatchi Gallery.

Why did artists decide to make banknotes an object included in their own creative process? Firstly, they’re artworks designed to stringent standards, and the artists worked with their aesthetic qualities to create something of their own. But the act of transforming a note can be also a way to stand up to the establishment – they’re official documents first and foremost, intended to reinforce authority, confidence and permanency, and can be seen as a propaganda tool; therefore, they can be subverted by the rebellious individuals.

In many countries, it’s against the law to amend the banknotes in any way. In the UK, it’s illegal to deface money, in the US, you can stamp them but you can’t advertise on them, in Australia, you mustn’t disfigure or mutilate notes, and you may be fined a million dinars or jailed for six months if you deface money in Iraq. The exhibition includes banknotes that have been tinkered with by contemporary artists – defaced, enhanced, reworked or otherwise changed – which often makes their actions illegal.

The artworks on display include the creations of Samo, Danny Minnick, Carne Griff, Ryca, Dotmasters, Chemical X, Goopmassta, Dave Buonaguidi, Winston Smith, Miss Printed, Willie Louw, Nick Reynolds, ATM, Carrie Reichardt, Bob Osborne, Jury the Clown, Sarah Pope, Louise McNaught, Bortusk Leer and Skeleton Cardboard.

Alongside the exhibition, a dedicated book Cash is King will be available for purchase. Both the publication and exhibition was curated by fellow artists Bob Osborne and Carrie Reichardt in collaboration from Olly Walker of Ollystudio.

The exhibition will be open until the 8th of September 2018. The entry is free.

Prints & Originals Gallery, Saatchi Gallery. Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, SW3 4RY. Opening times: 10am-6pm, 7 days a week, last entry 5.30pm.

Kasia Kwasniewska

Editor in Chief

Passionate about far too many things. Loves reading, watching films, eyeing (and producing) good design, listening to music and stuffing her face with chocolate on a daily basis. Cooks from time to time, and drinks far too much coffee to be a normal human being. Liked my work? Buy me a coffee!

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