Scott Campbell is a very interesting artist, not only because of his work, but his array of career paths. Before working within the contemporary art world, he was following a career in biochemistry at the University of Texas. He then abandoned this pathway and became very successful tattooist. He has become so well-known in his trade he now owns and operates the legendary Saved Tattoo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He is so well known he is know tatooist to the stars with as client list including celebrities such as Marc Jacobs, Heath Ledger, Josh Hartnett, Orlando Bloom, Helena Christensen and Penelope Cruz.
Although his history as a famous tattooist probably sounds irrelevant to this project, I feel it is important to mention. This is because through his works tattoo design can be seen through out his art. I feel like most of his work is an extension on his tattoo designs which includes the art that he has produced using money as his primary material.
Pièce de Résistance
This is a breathtaking piece of work that consists a smiling skull made out of $11,000 worth if $1 bills. This scull was made by laser cutting. The Cube measures more than 2 square feet and it is obvious to see how Campells Tatooist experience plays part when it comes to the care and the precision when laser-cutting each facet of the piece. This like his other money works is an inspiring piece of work, one that shows how money can be used to a material to create a deeper meaning when linked with a specific object, in this case a skull. I read this piece as money associated with death, as death is usually associated with skulls.
Daily Prayer Collection
This collection consists of a mixture if watercolour and oil painted banknotes. The bank noted themselves are given further meaning, then just a value of money. This is by Campbell cleverly manipulating the words on the notes, by and letter and whole words over the bank notes. This form of word play really appeals to me as not only does it express a message through words and the bank notes themselves, but has some form of comic value to them, which I not only find quite endearing, but almost a protest to the bank notes and what they represent – value, control and power.