Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dollars and Sense

By Lauren Johnson

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending a lovely evening at The Arts Council of Princeton to see the opening of Consumed: An Exhibition about Art, Money and Consumption, which consisted of a variety of works that showcased the diverse perspectives and relationships artists have with money.

I found this theme intriguing in regards to the contemporary art world, since a shaken economy makes it impossible for any creative person to not face economic reality. While some artists may repurpose the marketability of their work, others may use it as a springboard for new ideas. This show was a refreshing showcase of both.

Plus, they had cookies. Shaped like dollar signs.

Upon entering the Arts Council building, my friends and I were immediately whisked into the mass of a buzzing crowd of people still wearing hats and jackets, thawing out from the frigid outdoors. After a few minutes of letting our toes regain feeling, we hung our jackets and proceeded into the exhibition.

The first piece I unintentionally noticed (though it was on the other side of the room, a crowd had gathered around), were two very bright, crisp, (and stylistically obvious) dollar signs by none other than Andy Warhol. The inclusion of these two pieces was entirely appropriate seeing how influential he was in the translation of consumerism to pop art (and later, vice versa). Nearby was a series of line drawings by Rachel Perry Welty, which turned out to not be line drawings at all, but rather razor-thin cut fruit stickers and barcodes arranged in round, organic shapes on paper. On the opposite wall hung Andrew Wilkinson’s piece, ‘MY GOD IT’S GOOD,’ a wry parody of Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper that consisted of Pillsbury Doughboys feasting on fast food and Coca Cola.

Consumed is a refreshing look at art, money, and the modern day interpretation of both. The show is currently on view and will run until February 27th.

For more information, please visit

**Images courtesy of Arts Council of Princeton**

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