Art and Money depend on each other for survival.

During the Renaissance, the Medici family was famous for their artistic sponsership – which has continued to beautify the European environment hundreds of years later. Today, successful businesses like to point to their involvement with and donations to arts funding as evidence that they have our best human interests at heart. Surely, a business involved with the arts is more trustworthy than one who has no interest in our spiritual expression.

Thanks to this relationship, many artists (who might have otherwise starved) have been able to buy bread, travel, and otherwise engage more meaningfully with the outside world.

Which in turn enriches their art, and thus, the reputation of their sponser.

With the Money/Art connection so strong, it was inevitable that someone would ask the question: instead of making art to make money, why don’t we use money to make art?

The Dollar Artist asks us to consider this relationship.

The Dollar Artist use ordinary US-printed dollar bills to create fascinating bits of origami, ranging from the traditional (pigs, cats, swans), to the more contemporary (your loved one’s name, Mary at the Cross, and our favorite: The Kiss).

These delicate, spring-green creations are wonderful examples of intelligent design, for this venture illustrates what creative context can do for a product. The figures elicite reactions from many difference audiences: from the informed to the kitsch, yet are clean, simple, and rooted in artisan history.

And we like to think about the question elicited by the Dollar Artists — What came first, the dollar or the art?

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