‘Buy Some Love’: Money Art by New York artist, Skye Nicolas

by Thomas Browne

If you happen to find a dollar bill with a love-heart stamped on it with the words ‘Buy Some Love’ well hold onto it. You’re in possession of an artwork that could be worth a lot of money.

Imagine the scene. The artist Skye Nicolas, and a wealthy Russian Art collector are having a drink or two after an art auction. Upon paying for their drinks an unusual dollar bill slips out of the artist’s wallet. This is the aforementioned love-heart bill. “What’s this?” Asks the collector. “New Work” replies the artist smiling. The collector has to have it. He ends of making the artist an offer and buying the dollar bill for five hundred and fifty-three dollars. This was all the cash he happened to have on him at the time.

Cut to an Upper East Side Starbucks. A Manhattan heiress orders a latte and get her change. The same little heart is emblazoned on another dollar bill. ‘Buy Some Love’ it states to her. These words rankled as she’d just caught her husband doing the dirty on her with a high-class escort. Angry and flustered she marches straight out of the café into the street and threw all her change, including the heart stamped dollar bill, into the upturned hat of a street performer who happened to be playing ‘outside.  The song he was playing? ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ by The Beatles.

With ‘Buy Some Love’, Skye Nicolas has come up with an incredibly playful piece of art that explores ideas of value and art. Rich people will pay ludicrous amounts of money for anything that takes their fancy. It’s fascinating to note how though the work itself questions capitalist notions of art it is now changing hands for larger and larger sums of money – as much as $1,500 to $2,000 . It’s being sucked up into the very cannibalistic money system that is the fate of most contemporary art.

See skyenicolas.com

Artist Feature by Thomas Browne

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