Cash is King, the much anticipated art book from the pens and minds of Carrie Reichardt and Bob Osborne remembers a history of protest through the defacement of banknotes.
Featuring artists from across the urban art scene, they have contributed to the works of Reichardt and Osborne in the form of their own defaced notes. Each reinterpreting the brief in their own way and each, to steal a phrase from the foreword, giving their own ‘two finger salute to control’.
Cash is King Book Review
Because that’s really what this book remembers. A literary and artistic tribute to the history of paper money which throughout the years has had various penalties aligned to its defacement. It is apparently still an offence to deface any Bank of England note.
Not that any of the artists or authors really care about any of that. Especially the authors, both of whom are known for their anti-establishment and campaigning art which challenges the status quo and which challenges those who see it.
Bob Osborne and Carrie Reichardt
Osborne, better known as ‘Rebel Not Taken‘ got his name from what he describes as a lucky ancestor who escaped the Kings forces at the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685. Where many of the nonconformist rebels trying trying to lay siege to the city of Bristol were captured and hung. Some, managed to escape. They were described as ‘rebel and not taken’.
Reichardt meanwhile has made a name for herself campaigning for the rights of political prisoners on death row. Her art also draws on archival records in order to make it relevant for the community she is working in. Describing her work as ‘ceramic tapestry’ it’s about weaving local people with their histories together. We’ve featured Carrie’s work a number of times here on Inspiring City including this feature on her mosaic covered house in Chiswick.
Defacing and Refacing Money
According to the Cash is King book, the defacing and refacing of money as an act allied to civil disobedience is a time-honored tactic. A small but significant subversion aimed at centralised authority. The book is doing that, poking fun at authority whilst celebrating the creativity that can come with doing just that.
With original art from a variety of different artists with different backgrounds, styles and nationalities. We learn about the artists and their inspirations. Featuring art from Osborne and Reichardt at the centre, this book is nonetheless a huge collaboration. It’s an exciting book and certainly deserves its reputation as one of the most anticipated urban art books of the year.
Cash is King by Bob Osborne and Carrie Reichardt is released at a launch at the Saatchi Gallery on 30 August 2018. You can find out more about the release of the book here. To see an article on the sequel Cash is King 2: Money Talks click here.