Lee Devonish | Art About Money

Art about money

In 2014 I started to study money in conceptual as well as practical terms.

This led to developing an alternate identity as a personal finance blogger, but also to wanting to find a way to integrate my disparate fields of interest into my artwork. Lately I've been concentrating on making art about money.

Money as an artistic concept

Money as a concept is utterly fascinating, as it sends out so many barbed roots into our collective consciousness, telling us what is valuable and shaping (or skewing) our morality - but it also stands as a 'shortcode' for power.

As unavoidable and undeniably important as it is, most of us, including artists, feel uneasy about discussing money.

Our uneasy relationship with discussing money

Just mention money and you'll be misunderstood by most people - your motives may seem fishy and your cred as a serious artist be called into question. Yet this is exactly why art about money is so powerful and unsettling, and needs to be explored.

Art about masculinity

In 2011 I focused my visual art practice on the subject of masculinity and the role of the male model in art. This seems more and more relevant as society increasingly calls out the manner in which women have relentlessly been objectified in real life as well as in visual culture.

The point of making art about men is not to objectify one gender, but to show how the simple act of looking in the other direction makes so many people uneasy, when it should be as uncomplicated a visual experience as any.

My husband is my model for all contemporary works (2014 onwards). His interest in bodybuilding aligns perfectly with my interest in the visual culture of the body.

Art about men and art about money

The visual language surrounding men and money binds them up so tightly that it seems entirely natural that the two should go together. What does the stereotypical image of a stockbroker look like, for example?

In making art about money and masculinity, separately, I'm asking why we assume masculinity and wealth to be interlinked concepts, and why we place such weight on both.

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