The works in Jonathan Herder’s exhibition perpetuate his focus on the raw material of postage stamps, with widened attention to include other official currencies such as bank notes and stock certificates. The drawings and collages that comprise this exhibition engage the perceived dual qualities in their source material, of the exalted and pragmatic, i.e. evoking the noblest of ideals for mundane function. Those works entirely collaged from postage stamps stem from the artist’s desire to stage the drama of their graphic potency, made conspicuous once lifted from the prescriptive confines of bureaucratic purpose.
The group of bank note drawings in this show represent the artist’s attempt to cope with the recent destabilization of U.S. bank note design. As the once immutable appearance of U.S. money has given way to a flurry of reiterations and abandonment of long held aesthetic standards, the artist has responded by issuing yet another series of New Money. These bills offer a range of apprehensions; from consumerist advocacy to capitalistic inevitability. Indeed, a boundary between the marketplace and the individual can prove elusive, as these sometimes ethically conflicted bank notes attest.