The most impressive work to date by artist Mark Wagner is this huge 17ft tall by 6ft 3in wide collage of the Statue of Liberty. Made of 81,895 pieces cut from 1,121 U.S. dollar bills, the Liberty collage is one-eleventh the scale of Frederic Bertholdi’s famous sculpture and involves 13 separate panels. Wagner invites you to stand back and see the collage as a whole and then asks you to come closer to view each panel individually. Notice the humor, the way Wagner has made George Washington into a sort of caricature but also see how he addresses more serious issues dealing with economics, civil liberties, and American self-image.
Why did the artist decide to take on this year-long project? “A lot of my dollar collage work focuses on issues of American identity, and there isn’t a much stronger symbol of American Identity than either the dollar bill or Miss Liberty,” he tells us, “to change the one into the other seemed to fit. I’d wanted to ‘scale up’ for a while and really show some commitment to the work, and reproducing the statue in proportion to Washington’s portrait on the one was just enough of a stretch.”
Liberty (Full View)
Liberty (Detail View: Part of Panel 6)
Liberty (Detail View: Part of Panel 11)