My artistic practice is tied to the hidden influence of the global monetary systems, and the effect of consumerism on spiritual values. I have produced site specific sculptures, video-art installations and collages that examine and deconstruct the relationship between society and money. My artwork reflects my fascination with ancient symbols and sacred geometry, the future of currencies and modern society’s obsession with material wealth. In the end, paper money is an optical illusion created by governments and people.
In his Evangelii Gaudium, the first text written in his papacy, Pope Francis said that the root of our economic crisis is ‘the worship of the ancient golden calf that has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money.’ I seek to explore the forces that have brought us to this point. Searching for historical context, I conducted a research inside the Secret Archives of the Vatican, the Museo Real de Sevilla, the Real Casa de Potosi, the Temple of Freemasonry in Washington DC, the European Central Bank, the US Federal Reserve and the US National Archives supported by experts in history and symbolism from Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard University. I chose the best materials available to make the art pieces, including blown glass from Murano, Italy, the most important global currencies and noble metals available in different corners of the planet, such as gold, silver, platinum and steel.
All inhabitants of our planet come into contact with the dollar (Euro). As the world’s best-known currency and symbol of economic stability, the dollar goes through the hands of beggars, workers, artists, children, students, The dollar represents the obtainment of the elements we consider necessary for a happy life: food that feeds us, the clothing we wear, education, health, gifts, travel, and marriage. We work every day towards financial stability, and all of the world’s most impressive innovations have been achieved through the transfer of money. We created the value behind the dollar, and just as we created it, so can we destroy it.
MONEY AS ENERGY
The value we have given money is abstract, but contains an energetic force similar to kinetic and atomic energy, electricity, and heat. In all forms of energy, balance is the key. Traditional chinese medicine asserts that insufficient chi in the body results in discomfort, and in modern culture, we experience the inadequacy of money as a similar condition. Lack of financial power often becomes a source of stress, but in reality, we have the choice to manipulate money’s role in our lives. Just as too much concentration of chi leads to an unhealthy body and spirit, infatuation with money and material wealth can destroy lives and families. Money is only energy. How you handle it is up to you, but the key is to decide consciously.
THE SPHERE AS A SYMBOL OF THE INFINITE
A perfect sphere is a symbol of totality, uniformity, concurrency, and original perfection. It is eternal, and has no beginning and no end. Alain of Lille once said, “God is an intelligible sphere, whose center is everywhere, and whose circumference is nowhere.” In this sense, the circular shape of the sphere represents the eternal “now” in which we exist, and a concept of perfection that we chase through the accumulation of monetary wealth.
Images: Alberto Echegaray Guevara, Power Spheres: Moneyball, 2014 . Installation view: NYSE New York Stock Exchange. Goldman Sachs Private event, November , 2014 Courtesy the artist: Henrique Faria, New York. Photo Credit: Levar Gaston