Can't Buy Me Love, Or Can You?

You probably haven't heard the one about the artist and the Russian millionaire sitting at a bar, right? No, you probably haven't. If you happen to be in New York City please kindly check your wallet – any recent single dollar bills you might have received as change might be a collectable piece of artwork worth up to $2,000. Artist Skye Nicolas' curious new series, featuring a small heart with the words "Buy Some Love" stamped on a U.S. dollar bill, is currently circulating through Manhattan. These specially marked dollar bills are being collected and swooped up by the likes of art collectors and notable fashion personalities. So, the one about the artist and the Russian – an allegory on Nicolas' website describes a little more about the series: "An artist and a wealthy Russian art collector were having drinks at a hotel bar after having attended an art auction earlier that evening. Upon paying for their beverages, an unusual dollar bill slips out of the artist’s wallet that catches the ever curious eye of the wealthy art collector. 'What’s this?' he inquired, picking up the crisp dollar bill. 'New work' said the artist smiling. The back of the fresh note had been embellished with a small red heart, ink-stamped right at the center of the U.S. dollar note. It simply read 'Buy some Love', rendered in a pleasing greeting-card-like font. The art collector paused to relish this playful little piece of art that he now carefully held with the tip of his fingers at the edges. It began to tickle his impulsive art buying senses, activating a familiar excitement that stimulated his voracity and passion for art collecting. 'I love it!' he declared. 'It’s simple, incredibly witty, and says so many things on so many levels. How much?', he asked the artist as he sifted through his luxurious but slightly tacky calf skin leather wallet. 'I have… five hundred, fifty-three dollars! Please, I must have this.'' "Buy Some Love" is a unique statement on the reassignment of monetary value and a deafening critique of the current world of art collecting and how not impervious the super wealthy are to the mysterious charm of trendy modern art. Skye Nicolas, who was born in Manila in 1974 and lives and works in New York, wonders further: "If a dollar bill was purchased for five hundred dollars as a work of art, would a hundred dollar bill stamped with the same little red heart be worth five thousand?" A word to New Yorkers: if you happen to find one these dollar bills hold on to it! A word to wealthy art collectors in New York City – Skye Nicolas might have taken your wallet. Text by Oliver Maxwell Kupper for Pas Un Autre