Lyon-based photographer Philippe Pétremant's series, Les Sept Mercenaires (The Magnificent Seven), is a clever spin on portraiture. For the project, the artist collages together paper money from all around the world to form the faces of different political figures, including Che Guevara. He simply folds and arranges the paper, and then secures it all together with a paperclip.
Pétremant's project is a visual exploration of cultures as their currencies mesh together in unexpected forms. Each portrait is dependent on the placement of each bank note and they can only exist as a collective whole. There are two parts to experiencing this work. First, viewers can attempt to see the face as a whole, squinting to blend the parts together. Second, viewers can enjoy the process of identifying the various monetary notes and their countries of origin. The surprisingly curious choice of materials turns out to be both a still life as well as a new twist on the old, classic portrait painting.
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