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Perhaps it’s a sign that paper money has entered its late rococo period as the revolution of digital currency makes bills feel as arcane as fax machines, but there’s been a recent burst of creativity as designers and artists are tackling banknotes as a medium. A few months ago, we reported on the beautifully abstract design by Snøhetta for Norway’s note, but now Jeremy Deller’s new Brixton Pound is the latest to cash.
The Turner Prize–winning British artist has designed the B£5 note of the Brixton Pound, a local currency in south London. The psychedelic design commemorates the fifth anniversary of the currency, which was created in 2009 to support local businesses. The design is bright and vibrant, even if it’s a little quirky. One Brixton news site, Brixton Buzz, accurately joked that the creation looks like it has “been whizzed through Google’s image recognition neural network.”
And the bill is not without its self-critical quirks — it is art, after all. Dezeen pointed out that the B£5 even features a quote by proto-Marxist Karl Marx on the back:
It isn’t the first creative design for the Brixton Pound, which was launched in 2009, but it is certainly the most high profile. In 2011, creative studio This Ain’t Rock’n’Roll designed the money with various local celebrities, including Len Garrison, one of the founders of the Black Cultural Archives.
The group promoting the Deller designs thinks it has a winner on its hands, and is offering the special edition for sale on its website for a rather reasonable £11.20, which might be the most affordable Deller multiple ever. In case you need more convincing, the Brixton Pound’s own designer, Charlie Waterhouse, offers this endorsement that reads like a sales pitch:
These are the most amazing currency notes ever produced. No exaggeration. They’re beautiful and mysterious; spiritual and politicising. In two small sides of paper it provides the most compelling response to the rot that emanates from the Square Mile that I’ve seen since we were all told we had to live under the yoke of Austerity.
The banknote even comes in a special fold-out B£ presentation case, which is fitting as all these pretty notes will undoubtedly become collectibles.
The University of Virginia researchers wrote that the data “provides compelling evidence that these symbols are associated with hate.”
We are waiting for spectacle and when the quotidian, yet incongruous actions occur I wonder whether there is any real payoff coming.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
Tanega’s approach to mark-making comes across as stream of consciousness, as if she’s engaged in a conversation with herself.
Starting Monday, readers can borrow one of 50 rare and out-of-print titles, mailed to them completely free of charge, from Saint Heron Library.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
This is Yuskavage’s great gift, turning upside down our settled ways of thinking and seeing and, with ease, transforming the vulgar and ridiculous into the sublime.
51 international publishers and galleries showcase their latest editions in prints and artists’ books at this free public fair, which is fully online this year.
While hardly about the pandemic, or any of the other crises so afflicting us, all are invoked in this exhibition, which is also often tender and profoundly soulful.
These glowing, dynamic artworks reproduce something of Bosch’s chaotic energy, but on an immersive, multi-sensory scale.
This week, addressing a transphobic comedy special on Netflix, the story behind KKK hoods, cultural identity fraud, an anti-Semitic take on modern art, and more.