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    This is an ongoing project... I embellish objects, usually of a monetary nature and in this way the objects are transformed into something else. … Read More
    This is an ongoing project... I embellish objects, usually of a monetary nature and in this way the objects are transformed into something else. Read Less
    Published:
Monetary Bondage
The Art of Turing Money into Art
Creating an abstraction of perceived value.

My personal intention with this body of work is to create an abstraction of value by blurring the lines between people’s perceptions of art and money. 
 
When does an object become art and when does it become money, or vice versa. 
 
Many of the processes used in the creation of currency are very intricately tied to artistic techniques of production. The engraving of metal plates to print paper notes and the stamping out of metal sheet to mint coins are just a few examples.
 
Often times we forget or are not even aware of the artistry that goes into an object like a coin or paper bill. Its value often lost in the day to day shuffle of hands and registers…
 
It is through the process of “bonding” or trapping pieces of currency in elaborately embellished metal frames that a context is created which can re-establish a connection with the artistic work and value that created the object initially.  
 
As I continue to produce and add new pieces to this body of work, it has evolved and grown to further reflect the relationships between art and money and the creation of the two. Perhaps the best example of this evolution is the creation of printed versions of the art works. Much like the original metal plates used to print paper money, the creative process makes another full circle from one medium to another. These enlarged photographic prints not only push the conceptual nature of money/art production and value, but also allow the viewer to interact with an enlarged version of the art work to admire details otherwise difficult to appreciate in the original art works due to their size.  
 
Another aspect of currency creation and value that I have been able to address within the collection of work is the topic of digital money. The credit card became the ideal representative for the notion of conceptual digital wealth. 
 
I am always looking forward to discovering new materials and concepts to integrate into my work. Often when traveling I am confronted with the best opportunities to gather new materials and ideas for future work. 
 
Money is usually a charged topic for people, no matter where one travels and I am always curious to see how people react and interpret this body of work. In my experience, it would seem that wealth and value have a universally attractive quality over people, often irrational and emotional, and those are the aspects that I find most intriguing to explore within my work.  

Daniel Icaza, 2014
Selected works from the USA (USD) collection of Monetray Bondage. 
TITLE: 3 Dollars? (front)
MEDIUM: Copper, Vitreous Enamel, Silver, Brass, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6½”, 3”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2009 
TITLE: 3 Dollars? (back)
MEDIUM: Copper, Vitreous Enamel, Silver, Brass, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6½”, 3”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2009
 
TITLE: 50 Dollars? (front)
MEDIUM: Copper, Vitreous Enamel, Silver, Brass, Copper/Nickel Mokume-Gane, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6½”, 3”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2009 
TITLE: 50 Dollars? (back)
MEDIUM: Copper, Vitreous Enamel, Silver, Brass, Copper/Nickel Mokume-Gane, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6½”, 3”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2009 
TITLE: 100 Dollars? (front)
MEDIUM: Copper, Vitreous Enamel, Silver, Brass, Copper/Nickel Mokume-Gane, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6½”, 3”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2009
 
TITLE: 100 Dollars? (back)
MEDIUM: Copper, Vitreous Enamel, Silver, Brass, Copper/Nickel Mokume-Gane, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6½”, 3”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2009
 
TITLE: 13 Skulls (Collection of 13 pieces) (Black(A), Blue(B), Blue2(C), Green(D), Green2(E), Orange(F) Purple(G), Purple2(H), Rainbow(I), Red(J), Red2(K), White(L), Yellow(M))
MEDIUM: Copper, Silver, Gold, Vitreous Enamel, Cubic Zirconia, 1964 Quarter 
DIMENSIONS: 3”, 3”, ¼” 
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2011 
TITLE: Half Dollar? (Filigree)(V1)
MEDIUM: Copper, Brass, Silver, Gold, 1942 Liberty Half Dollar
DIMENSIONS: 3”, 3”, ¼”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2009
Selected works from the Costa Rica (CRC) collection of Monetray Bondage. 
TITLE: 5 Colones? (front)
MEDIUM: Copper, Silver, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6½”, 3”, ¼”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2011 
TITLE: 5 Colones? (back)
MEDIUM: Copper, Silver, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6½”, 3”, ¼”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2011 
TITLE: 2000 Colones? (front)
MEDIUM: Copper, Brass, Vitreous Enamel, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6⅝”, 3⅛”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2013 
TITLE: 2000 Colones? (back)
MEDIUM: Copper, Brass, Vitreous Enamel, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6⅝”, 3⅛”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2013 
TITLE: 5000 Colones? (front)
MEDIUM: Copper, Brass, Silver, Vitreous Enamel, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6⅝”, 3⅛”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2013 
TITLE: 5000 Colones? (back)
MEDIUM: Copper, Brass, Silver, Vitreous Enamel, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6⅝”, 3⅛”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2013 
Selected works from the Chinese (RMB) collection of Monetray Bondage. 
TITLE: 5 RMB? (front)
MEDIUM: Brass, Copper, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6¼”, 3⅛”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2015
TITLE: 5 RMB? (back)
MEDIUM: Brass, Copper, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6¼”, 3⅛”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2015
TITLE: 10 RMB? (front)
MEDIUM: Copper, Brass, Vitreous Enamel, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6⅜”, 3½”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2015
TITLE: 10 RMB? (back)
MEDIUM: Copper, Brass, Vitreous Enamel, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6⅜”, 3½”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2015
TITLE: 50 RMB? (front)
MEDIUM: Copper, Silver, Vitreous Enamel, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6⅝”, 3½”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2015
TITLE: 50 RMB? (back) 
MEDIUM: Copper, Silver, Vitreous Enamel, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 6⅝”, 3½”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2015
TITLE: 100 RMB? (front)
MEDIUM: Copper, Brass, Vitreous Enamel, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 7”, 3⅞”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2015
TITLE: 100 RMB? (back) 
MEDIUM: Copper, Brass, Vitreous Enamel, Paper Money
DIMENSIONS: 7”, 3⅞”, ⅛”
DATE OF COMPLETION: 2015