S T E P H E N B A R N W E L L

B I O

Stephen Barnwell’s moneyart prints have been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe, including the Palais de Tokyo Contemporary Art Museum in Paris, the Lahti Art Museum in Finland, the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in California, and the Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York City.  Mr. Barnwell’s prints are in private collections in all fifty US states as well as in fifty-one countries around the globe. A set of his political moneyart prints are in the permanent collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles and the Lake Eustis Art Museum in Florida. 

S T A T E M E N T

The iconography of financial documents provokes a perception of inherent value.  I exploit that response, using the stolen sense of authority to amplify my voice.  Only governments are authorized to create money, so I take the vocabulary of government and use it to speak out against authority and to challenge societal assumptions.  The visual language of authority also extends into the world of capitalism in the form of stock and bond certificates.  I simultaneously enjoy the richness and extravagance of this kind of imagery while also using it to explore political and socially relevant concepts, often employing satire.  By appropriating the visual language of government, my work acquires a false perception of authority or history, as well as a sense of purpose or functionality.  I subvert the language of power to criticize power.