• Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

Artist paints on inflation-hit bank notes


Argentina’s cash has lost so much value in recent years that local artist Sergio Guillermo Diaz finds painting on even the most valuable banknotes has become affordable.

With annual inflation that likely neared 100% last year, the largest denomination of Argentine currency, the 1,000-peso bill, is worth around $5.60 officially or just $3 on parallel markets commonly used to skirt capital controls.

Artist Sergio Diaz holds intervened Argentine pesos bills and a US dollar depicting Steven Spielbergs movie Shark as a parody of Argentinas ever-increasing inflation, in Salta, Argentina, December 30, 2022. — Reuters
Artist Sergio Diaz holds intervened Argentine pesos bills and a US dollar depicting Steven Spielberg’s movie “Shark” as a parody of Argentina’s ever-increasing inflation, in Salta, Argentina, December 30, 2022. — Reuters 

“Nowadays it makes sense for me to paint on the largest denominated bill here in Argentina. Once I paint on it, I can sell it for much more than what the bill is worth,” Diaz told Reuters in an interview in the northern city of Salta.

Artist Sergio Diaz intervenes Argentine pesos bills and a US dollar bill depicting Steven Spielbergs movie Shark as a parody of Argentinas ever-increasing inflation, in Salta, Argentina, December 30, 2022. — Reuters
Artist Sergio Diaz intervenes Argentine pesos bills and a US dollar bill depicting Steven Spielberg’s movie “Shark” as a parody of Argentina’s ever-increasing inflation, in Salta, Argentina, December 30, 2022. — Reuters

He says he weaves the themes of inflation and the peso’s depreciation into his works, which also feature the US one-dollar bill.

Artist Sergio Diaz intervenes Argentine pesos bills with portraits of characters from the movie Harry Potter, as he revalues the bills by transforming them into artwork against Argentinas ever-increasing inflation, in Salta, Argentina, December 30, 2022. — Reuters
Artist Sergio Diaz intervenes Argentine pesos bills with portraits of characters from the movie “Harry Potter”, as he revalues the bills by transforming them into artwork against Argentina’s ever-increasing inflation, in Salta, Argentina, December 30, 2022. — Reuters

On the banknotes, he has painted pictures ranging from soccer star Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup to satirical images about the peso’s sharp depreciation in recent years — a phenomenon that has helped drag 40% of the country’s population into poverty.

Artist Sergio Diaz intervenes Argentine pesos bills with characters of the movie Harry Potter, as he revalues the bills by transforming them into artwork against Argentinas ever-increasing inflation, in Salta, Argentina, December 30, 2022. — Reuters
Artist Sergio Diaz intervenes Argentine pesos bills with characters of the movie “Harry Potter”, as he revalues the bills by transforming them into artwork against Argentina’s ever-increasing inflation, in Salta, Argentina, December 30, 2022. — Reuters

Diaz said his work “reflects how inflation is lived, how this is growing, which ultimately affects us all, totally affects our lives and our purchasing power, how we are living through this crisis.”

An Argentine 10 pesos bill intervened by artist Sergio Diaz depicting Argentinas soccer star Lionel Messi holding the FIFA World Cup, is displayed next to a US dollar bill depicting an homage to Leon Ferraris La Civilizacion Occidental y Cristiana, as a form to revalue the bills by transforming them into artwork against Argentinas ever-increasing inflation, in Salta, Argentina, December 30, 2022. — Reuters
An Argentine 10 pesos bill intervened by artist Sergio Diaz depicting Argentina’s soccer star Lionel Messi holding the FIFA World Cup, is displayed next to a US dollar bill depicting an homage to Leon Ferrari’s “La Civilizacion Occidental y Cristiana”, as a form to revalue the bills by transforming them into artwork against Argentina’s ever-increasing inflation, in Salta, Argentina, December 30, 2022. — Reuters 

— Thumbnail and banner image by Reuters





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