It's no big shocker that we are not at our finest economic hour, but John Baldessari may have stumbled upon a solution to our money woes. All this time we have been trying to make more money, when maybe we should have focused on making bigger money.
Just look at Baldessari's new installation towering over 18th Street in New York, an $100,000 bill board entitled 'The First $100,000 I Ever Made.' At 25-by-75-feet, this grand-scale gravy is big enough for everyone to enjoy, in some capacity at least.
The $100,000 dollar bill was issued in a previous attempt to assuage financial hardships during the Great Depression when 42,000 were circulated. Today they are illegal, though some have been kept in the Smithsonian Museum and Federal Reserve. But big problems need big solutions! Bring back those bills and supersize them, please.
Baldessari is known for his conceptual work toying with the relationship between narrative, language and image in art. What is he saying here? Are we in a Greater Depression? Is this the final equation of art and capital? Or was the whole 'bill board' pun just too good to pass up? What do you think?