Artist Jacqueline Lou Skaggs uses single pennies as the canvas for her work. Painting over the presidents' faces and the monumental buildings pressed into each penny, she formed small, intricate paintings on the surface of twelve found bronze coins as part of the series Tondi Observations. From haystacks to portraits, the artist says that each miniature penny painting "reflects a decision to move away from making "pictorial" images."
Skaggs says initially the coins were going to be spent and introduced back into the monetary world in exchange for goods. However, as the work became more recognized, it was turned into artwork that hangs on display on the walls of galleries. Rather than viewing the paintings as damage to the original object, penny-art enthusiasts see the artwork as an added value to the American currency. Skaggs says, "Paid tribute no less on the face of discarded coins these iconic images transcend the coins value while defacing it."
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