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For the love of money art

Last month we spoke about the launch of ‘Background Bob and his amazing friends’. A book filled with wonderful art from the Background Bob project. Well there’s another lovely book that’s just been launched and it’s full of incredible works of art created on various notes and coins from all over the world.

Aptly titled, ‘For The Love Of Money Art’, this 117 page, A4 hard-backed book is a wonderful collection of money based art, many of which featured in shows at the Saatchi Gallery.

'Pink Lady' by Trevor Shephard
‘Pink Lady’ by Trevor Shephard

To find out more about it all, we spoke to one of the organisers, artist Darren Main

Back in March 2017, Darren set up a ‘For The Love Of Money Art’ Facebook group to bring together and celebrate artists who use or feature money in their work. Just over a year later the group were invited to participate in an exhibition called ‘Cash Is King’ at London’s prestigious Saatchi Gallery organised by Robert Osbourne (@rebelnottaken) and Carrie Reichardt (@carriereichardt).

‘2020 Currency’ by Raffaella Bertolini

It proved such a success that ‘Cash Is King 2’ took place in Sept 2019.

As Darren explains, “It was such a great opportunity for us to be able to showcase our art at the Saatchi Gallery and to also meet up with artists from the Facebook group, many of whom we had never met before”.

F.E.A.R by @NME

The popularity of the two shows has resulted in the Facebook group growing to a community of over 1,700 members all contributing incredible money based works of art.

Last month to celebrate the wonderful art Darren and his team launched the ‘For The Love Of Money Art’ book.

American artist Dwayne Wolosiewicz discusses his copy of ‘For The Love Of Money Art’

“We had the idea for the book after the first ‘Cash is King’ exhibition. It was one of those classic conversations over a few beers, and to see that idea come to life is a dream come true. We’re so proud of all the work the artists have contributed because without it there would be no book”.

Here at CreativeFolk, we’ve been following the group for a while but we never realised just have far back defacing money went, during our chat with Darren he gave us an insight into the history of money art…

“The first paper money art I’m aware of is in The Numismatic Collection and dates back to 1874. A 10 Cent note with the face of The U.S Secretary of the Treasury, W.M Meredith, whose face had been satirically altered.

In the great depression of the 20s and 30s, travellers or hobos would use crude tools to engrave low denomination coins, changing them into love tokens. These hobo-nickels, as they were then called, would be traded for a meal or a room for the evening. Later they began depicting the hobos themselves”.

Artist J H Ranger demonstrates the fine art of carving a hobo nickel

Although defacing money is actually illegal, artists from all over the world have used it as a form of expression. As the phrase goes ‘Money is the root of all evil’, so for some artists it makes the perfect canvas to share their thoughts and opinions.

‘Tech Savvy Too’ by Lusky

‘For The Love Of Money Art’, featuring 115 artists beautiful work, is now on sale at the bargain price of just £20 and you can get yourself a copy here or why not take a trip to Margate and visit Darren’s gallery:

The Old Kent Market,
8 Fort Hill Road,

Not only can you pick up a copy of the book but many of the artworks featured are on display.

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