Cash is King 2 is the next installment of the popular art project from Carrie Reichardt and Bob Osborne. A book full of original art on banknotes it is a follow on from the hugely successful first Cash is King which launched in 2018.
This time in addition to the art, the book features a number of written articles from big names on the urban art scene. Contributions from the likes of Martyn Reed and Susan Hansen have also resulted in Cash is King 2 having a more of the feel of a journal.
Beauty in Defacing
“There’s so many ways you can do this defacing of banknotes” says Carrie, “there’s an intrinsic beauty to them.” Indeed, many of the banknotes come from countries across the world. Often these places sit at the edge of our consciousness. For many it will be the first time that some of these notes from faraway lands would have been seen.
The art on show is a mixed bag. Many of the notes have clearly being created just for fun and the enjoyment of creation though much is political. Many of the works do have some meaning behind them. One collection created as part of the show features work from Aida Wilde. Originally from Iran she has used notes from countries torn apart by war to create beautiful, emotive and delicate pieces. By creating art using money she skillfully manages to draw attention to, as well as raise money for, the plight of refugees.
Interview with Carrie Reichardt and Bob Osborne
Money and Identity
There is an undoubted connectness between the banknote and the art that it has become. The link between a nations identity and its money is a strong one. It plays to who people feel they are and where they belong. It’s also perhaps part of the reason that in much of the world defacing money is a criminal act. It’s perhaps that which helped make the concept of the show so appealing. For Osborne and Reichardt any opportunity to challenge and poke fun at the system is something that they clearly relish.
The Currency and Banknotes Act 1928 does still state that defacing banknotes is a criminal offence. “When we first started this, I did write to the Bank of England because I wanted to just clear the air” says Osborne. Perhaps possibly expecting the kind of reply he was going to get he also asked them for a quote. “They said that ‘unfortunately what you’re doing is illegal so we cannot give you a quote for the book’… so of course that’s the quote I used.
Cash is King 2 is the second book and exhibition from Carrie Reichardt and Bob Osborne. The exhibition was curated by Olly Walker of Ollystudio. The show runs at the gallery until 14 September 2019.