Messed Up Money
Every experience, situation and person has an effect on us. Each encounter leaving a mark or impression. Something is added, or maybe taken away. But at the core, deep down our value is still the same. We may look or feel different or even damaged sometimes, but we still have value. Each occurrence adds character and makes us unique.
Much is the same with the coins in these collections. Every coin was shiny and new at its inception. Each quarter, nickel, dime and penny lived a life that left marks and scars, gouges and residues. Whether it was from an intentional infliction or through neglect or the elements of nature, each was transformed into something ‘new’. Yet each maintains its original value and every last one, still capable of serving the purpose for which it was created.
These coins, like all U.S. currency, also represent America and what it means to be an American. LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and E PLURIBUS UNUM are on every coin coming from the U.S. Mint. These eight words say as much or more about the United States of America as do the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. These three phrases embody what American values are.
The marks, cuts, dings, abrasions, scrapes and more that are visible in the photos of these coins mirror all of the hard work, sweat, blood, tears, battles, wars, victories and defeats we as individual Americans and our country as a whole have endured. Yet, we are strong and have an internal and eternal value that cannot be vanquished.
Photographing these coins is my way of telling a story and carrying forward both a mythology and a truth about what it means to be an American and to endure! There are stories embedded in these images and coins and I hope that they resonate with you as much as they do with me.
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