American money is very well designed. I like it better than any other kind of money
I started to collect dollars signed by artists doing a swap: a small sketch of an Italian artist having in return a dollar bill with various signatures, which Andy Warhol used to leave as a gift to all participants to parties at Factory, so that everybody would be back home with a piece of Pop art.
“Kunst = Kapital”
Then I found other bills signed by Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, collected various artists working on the dollar banknote, asked artist friends to create for me a work on an original U.S. bill and I at present continue to look for art made on or about U.S. currency.
My collection at present includes, inter alia, artists as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Banksy, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Dan Tague, various US, UK and Italian street artists, photographer and young Italian artists.
However, I was not the first art collector to consider the dollar bill as a piece of art.
Money is the MOMENT to me. Money is my MOOD
“I’d asked around 10 or 15 people for suggestions. Finally one lady friend asked the right question, “Well, what do you love most?” That’s how I started painting money”, Andy Warhol says. And he continues: "I like money on the wall. Say you were going to buy a $200,000 painting. I think you should take that money, tie it up, and hang it on the wall. Then when someone visited you the first thing they would see is the money on the wall."
“Art is Money – Money is Art”
However, there is no reason why a piece of art made on a real bill should not benefit from copyright protection as an artistic work. This position derives from a legal debate related to a graffiti work by U.K. street artist Banksy removed from a wall of a street in London and subsequently offered at auction in Miami. In this case, both the private property of the wall and the ownership of the art work with the related copyright were taken into consideration and the latter prevailed, which by analogy may apply to banknotes signed, sketched or any way altered by an artist.