Brazilian artist Rodrigo Torres’ meticulously cut currency collages are making waves in the art world. The artist’s gorgeous creations are made using a myriad of colorful bank notes from around the globe, and they were recently chosen by Art Basel Switzerland to be featured in this June’s Art Feature sector in Switzerland. Torres treats each bank note with the hand of an engraver, carefully pulling away layers to highlight the intricate design of each component.
Unlike the monochromatic greens of Scott Campbell and Chad Person, Torres’ delicate creations make full use of the rich colors that adorn different countries’ currency.
The artist’s work also varies from other currency collages in that instead of narrative and figurative shapes, Torres plays upon the design flourishes that are in the original design of each note. Currency is something we use to trade for goods and services, and so the intricate designs of each are more than often overlooked.
Torres’ pieces highlight the ornate borders that stretch to the edge of each bill. He carefully cuts flourishes and scrolls into lace, revealing an entirely new character for the root of greed and comfort. The fleur-de-lis, embellished borders and flowers of different colors and from different origins are then juxtaposed together, forming a layer of texture and pattern with his money collage.
To the artist, the mixing of currency from different countries as simple as mixing color palettes and textures, but the resulting art works can be read as a commentary on the mixing of cultures and economies, each united by the power of money.
Torres’ work can be seen at Art Basel Switzerland, which opens June 14th until June 17th.