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Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Mosaic of Australian aborigine from currency

John Engen offers his unique interpretation of symbols found on global currencies, inviting everyone to appreciate these utilitarian objects transformed into fine art. This creative process seamlessly integrates a lifetime of traditional fine art painting with decades of expertise in computer art software.

The symbols featured on a nation's banknotes encapsulate its history, convey a social statement, and represent the monetary value of the note, making them inherently fascinating. John's approach involves utilizing his own artworks, painted with traditional mediums like oils, acrylics, and watercolors, combined with digitally created art. The mosaic format becomes the canvas for this fusion, enabling John to express the portraits in a manner unattainable by any single medium.

Engen's currency mosaics present viewers with a fresh perspective on images often taken for granted in daily transactions. By "freeing" these symbols from their original utilitarian context, he transforms them into fine art creations. Comparing the ordinary object with John's reimagined image reveals a profound and appreciable difference, highlighting the artistic potential inherent in the everyday.


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