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American, born 1976
“The one dollar bill is the most ubiquitous piece of paper in America,” notes Mark Wagner, whose currency collages emerge from the question: What might be done to make it something else? Wagner reconfigures the familiar green-and-black-printed linen stock into humorous portraits, landscapes, and other scenes. George Washington, whose portrait graces the one dollar bill, figures prominently in many collages, chopping down his infamous cherry tree, strolling through a garden reading a newspaper, or snacking on a dollar bill. Others depict fantastical creatures and scenes, such as an island teeming with biomorphic vegetation that sits atop waves of dollar bills, or recreate iconic works like Grant Wood’s American Gothic (1930). In addition to showcasing the uncanny precision for which Wagner is known, the collages express poignant criticism of our addiction to money.