Throughout 2020 Stacey Lee Webber developed Riot bills, a revisionary collection of US currencies overlaid with subversive stitches: flames envelop monuments, a wall left unfinished, and an eclectic array of face masks disguise Abraham Lincoln’s portrait. In contrast to the muted tones of the paper, the lively embroidery stands in stark contrast and as altered narratives to those depicted on the various denominations. “The series addresses feelings of anger, turmoil and frustration during the tense political climate as it re-contextualizes and challenges the beloved iconography we see on our money,” she tells Colossal.
She currently works in her studio and at home in Philadelphia Globe Dye WorksWebber is officially trained in metalworking – she has an MFA from the University of Wisconsin, where she initially began using currency as the foundation for her projects – and sees the two media as an ongoing conversation. Embroidery “allows me to work in a quieter environment outside of my metal shop and act as a kind of ying for the yang, soft and hard, masculine and feminine,” she says.
Many of Webber’s sculptures involve the soldering of coins, including the copper penny work that makes up the picture The Craftsmen series and question the value of labor in the US. The collection consists of hollow, life-size tools and visualizes “endless amounts of work in a single cent,” says the artist.
Webber has several exhibitions this year, including at TW Fine Art Palm Beach Outpost in April in Philadelphia Bertrand Productions in October and Art at the paper fair this November in New York City. If you can’t see the currency-based projects in person, go to Instagram, Here the artist shares a larger collection of her works and looks into her studio.
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