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Justine Smith

Born in: 1971

United Kingdom

Biography

Cleverly combining motifs from East and West is London-based artist Justine Smith.

Sourcing currencies from Afghanistan, China, Europe, Libya, Iran and Pakistan amongst others she meticulously hand-cuts the notes, dissecting disparate elements to form the spiritual symbol of the Mandala. Used as a devotional tool characterized by a concentric configuration of geometric shapes, Justine Smith subverts this emblem by positioning money and power as the new religion, both a dream and a delusion.

Incorporating images of guns, bullets, military weapons and political figures Justine Smith creates a dialogue on the concepts of power and our relationship with money and its value systems. These works also allude to the often violent and turbulent effects of countries at war and the potentially devastating impact of corruption. Smith exploits the physical beauty of these banknotes and incorporates gold leaf to create a highly seductive work that can superficially entice the viewer but poses a moral dilemma.

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