Anthony White paints money. Not the image of the object but the symbol and its value.
To date he has been working on an Australian Dollars, British Pound, US Dollars and Euro series which follow a very simple process. White starts by painting a canvas with “£1”, for example, and then sells that work for the amount on the canvas - One Pound. Once this is sold he paints the next value “£2” and sells it for Two Pounds.
He will only sell each work in a series in numerical order and for the amount painted on the canvas. Unsurprisingly, these activities have upset many in the contemporary art world by removing the commercial valuation of the works from the galleries or dealers and placing it directly in the hand so the artist and the buyer.
He started the paintings in April 2004 and has since sold over 600 of them to collectors in 30 countries.
More recently White has been working with barcodes, producing a series of “Bar Code Boxes” and using Ebay to sell them, further disconnecting from the traditional gallery/salesroom model. It seems he is fascinated with barcodes and suggests that “I never buy anything unless it has a Bar Code on it. Only products with Bar Codes are worth buying.” His barcode boxes sell for $299 US Dollars and contain absolutely nothing. They are available in orange, blue red and block.
There is something charmingly subversive about these activities which suggest that an artist can certainly use the Internet as a platform to promote, sell and distribute work.
This year he exhibited in Paris at 59 Rivoli during March and April and almost sold everything. In June 2011 he wrote “I only paint to make money.”
For more details of his current and past projects visit: www.anthonywhite.com