Mark Wagner

Mark Wagner



NorthEast Region of USA
Mark Wagner
Artists often make extraordinary works from ordinary materials. Mark Wagner’s collages tackle some big subjects—American history and identity, social and environmental issues—using one ubiquitous printed object as his sole medium: the US dollar bill. Wielding a very precise blade, Wagner excises every element from the bill. Then, carefully positioning each element to create an astonishing array of images, textures, and effects, he constructs his detailed and sometimes monumental collage works. George Washington plays most human roles in his work, for obvious reasons. The material here carries a great deal of weight and meaning—as well as a shock of recognition for the viewer. The artist’s evident labor and craft rewards your close attention, eliciting appreciation for the work’s detail as well as delight at the complete transformation of the mundane and familiar. After experiencing Wagner’s remarkable collages, you might never look at a humble dollar the same way again.

What the work is to me is . . . say you dropped a dollar bill on really fertile ground, and it was a seed for this whole other world—an Other World where everything was made out of bills.

— Mark Wagner