I started taking art classes when I was eight years old.
At one point I decided I wanted to paint because it was the biggest challenge I thought I could face, I thought I could put it in front of me. Eventually after over 10 years of exploration to find a formal structure for my art, I came across the idea of using money to paint.
And then from there, all the content of what I wanted to explore came together. I am the type of artist that likes and think that it’s relevant, how you present the art, how you seduce the viewer to come into this conversation.
Humor is part of the bait because, well, I guess everybody likes to have a laugh, but then when you understand you’re laughing at something that’s serious, the bottom of it is not funny at all.
''I came across the idea of using money to paint.''
If I wanted just to sell art, I would not have put myself into this mess of getting into doing work with money. And every time I have an idea, it’s much more complicated, but that’s what I like.
I like the challenge.
When I started doing this work, some of these works could take six months to complete. The process of acquiring the banknotes and finally putting them in the panel, it is a very long process in terms of hours. It’s hundreds and it could be over a thousand hours on one piece. And I don’t mind talking openly about how my art is not a one man island and this is a collaboration in many ways and I see great value in other people getting into my work and putting their hands into my work.
''For me, it's not about the money.''
The largest amount of banknotes in one specific work, I believe it’s around 3,300 in one single work. So assembling the pieces together, could be a week, could be a month.
I’ve never felt that transforming those currencies that is just packed together in somebody’s drawer, somebody’s closet, somebody’s vault and putting it out there for the world to see and for somebody to take it home… is a type of transgression. All the opposite, I think it’s, like Warhol said, ”if you have $200,000 to buy a piece of art, well just take the bloody $200,000 and just display it on the wall”. For me, it’s not about the money