$100,000 in Dollar Bills – A Wall Full Of Money by Hans-Peter Feldmann
There is an incredible display of wealth and artistry on show at the Guggenheim Museum this year between May 20 and Nov. 2nd. The German Artist Hans-Peter Feldmann has a showcase which depicts and personifies the struggle between the artist pursuing his dreams, holding the course, and the ability to earn money and create wealth. Feldmann was the recipient of the Hugo Boss Prize in 2010 of $100,000 for achievement in contemporary art, which both inspired and allowed him to create this significant piece of art on display.
The exhibition features 100,000 $1 Bills hung up on the walls and pillars of the exhibition room. Money covers the space from floor to ceiling in a show of the rewards and the struggles of art and artist. Hans-Peter Feldmann was intentional about using money which had been in circulation and was well used and soiled. Had he used crisp new bills, the showcase may have come across more vocally about something capitalistic, but instead, his aim was to communication struggle and triumph in art for all artists.
In all, this extraordinary exhibition is a statement about his connection to money throughout his career. He stated that there was no money in the art world when he started making art in the 1950’s, of course giving power to the cliche of the starving artist. However, over a lifetime of work and achievement, Hans-Peter Feldmann has been able to create success and wealth through his toil and here, in this museum exhibition at the Guggenheim was his chance to further that career, that struggle, that passion by using his winnings and achievements to continue the story.
It takes a genius artist to use every-day life events and create meaningful art around them. One step furthers the next, and the next, and the next until as an artist you’ve finally arrived somewhere. In this scenario, it was hard work, genius, and dedication that helped the German artist excel in the art world, and when it paid off, he had the brilliance to see a way to further his art using the very rewards he had been vying for all along.
Of course, at the end of the exhibition, Hans-Peter Feldmann will take home his money, but for now, it stands as a statement to struggling artists everywhere to use your surroundings, your life events, and your passions to keep making art that matters to you.