Rodrigo Torres’s Currency Collages

Brazilian artist Rodrigo Torres creates intricate collages by combining bank notes collected from around the world. Beautiful and painstakingly detailed, they are visually arresting and require a closer look. The ones I find most interesting single out common themes found within a variety of notes, such as crowds, portraits, and buildings/architecture, and showcase unexpected similarities between multiple countries’ approaches to currency design. In Rodrigo’s portrait collage, he positions heads to the right or left, with those silhouettes facing directly to the side seated at each respective end. The majority of head positions are in varying degrees of ¾ perspective; very few bank note portraits seem to face directly forward. Most notes are monochromatic, but differ on the single color used; this in turn creates an aesthetically pleasing rainbow effect. It’s uncanny to see a multiplicity of notes side by side in this constructed context. Despite countless cultural, historical, and environmental differences in nations around the world, their money appears strikingly similar.

Torres’s has been selected by Art Basel Switzerland to be featured in the month’s Art Feature sector in Switzerland, which runs June 14 – June 17.