Portrait of a Dollar in 2020

Mixed Media, April 2020
Original. 52 x 70″

I approach the consumption of news like taking measured “shots” of strong Tennessee whiskey, as I limit myself to small doses each day. The immense power wielded by the pandemic and the pervasive influence of social and broadcast media have reverberated throughout our society, including in the realm of our most symbolic economic entity, the dollar. In this painting, I chose to depict the first dollar I earned in my new career, intending to illustrate its evolving symbolic value in society, which undergoes dramatic shifts with each passing day. Remarkably, even the act of physically exchanging this legal tender with cashiers at grocery stores has acquired a sense of social taboo due to concerns over potential COVID-19 contamination. It is a representation of our transition into a new economy, where I aim to visualize the challenges faced by the average dollar, while drawing on the artistic prowess of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Pablo Picasso to help convey my message.

This artwork stands as a collaborative effort between myself, Basquiat, and Picasso, combining our respective talents. It serves as an exploration of the value attributed to the United States dollar in the midst of a pandemic, and seeks to visually simulate concepts such as societal worth, contaminated currency, and toxic greed as perceived through my eyes. Prominent sources of inspiration for this piece include Picasso’s “Portrait of Dora Maar” and Basquiat’s “Self Portrait as a Heel.”

 


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Additional information

Dimensions 52 × 70 in
Available Sizes

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