Editor’s Note: Issue 17

Money is nearly as taboo a subject as sex. Yet the exchange of it is one of the main transactions in our daily lives. What we think and feel about money determines how we engage with it, not only as currency but also as a determinant of dynamics within relationships, business, politics, and social interactions.

Money affects our self-esteem, from our credit score, to the salary we receive. The amount of money or debt we possess at any given time influences our relationship to freedom and choice and contributes greatly to our sense of well-being. Issue 17: The Currency of Money examines how currency works within our personal and professional lives, as well as in our relationships.

In her book Defining Your Relationship Currency, therapist and author Debra L. Kaplan explains, “Relational currency speaks to what we value, what we bring in the way of relational strengths, and the ways in which we communicate this to our loved one.”  

Tracing his own journey from spending client to earning psychotherapist, Chris Hancock elucidates the underlying physical and emotional challenges of an inevitable exchange: therapy for money.

“Since shame is an emotion of comparison that speaks of inferiority, of being less than,” notes Dr. Susan Beth Miller, “once we define the acquisition of money as the attainment of personal value, to be short on money or moneyless can be shameful.” Her deft investigation forces us to question the extent to which we view money through the lens of shame.

What happens to the wealthy in prison, when their financial lifelines are rendered meaningless? Contributing writer Steven P. Arthur gives us an insider’s view of the politics of currency exchange in the U.S. Justice System.

Issue 17: The Currency of Money invites you to spend valuable time exploring these and other fascinating connections between the currency we exchange and the psychological currents driving each decision.


– Stanley Siegel, Editor-in-Chief and Adam A. Neal, Associate Editor



A Note from Art Curator, Matthew Kyba

In the contemporary art market, high-end paintings and sculptures from A-list artists can fetch the same amount as a small nation’s GDP. The exorbitant currency that is traded for contemporary art seems unbelievable at times. But for every Koons or Hirst, there are many more artists who tend to act in resistance to or in critique of the unapologetic, economical structuring of the art world. These artists, even while being involved in the commercial art sphere, symbolize deficiencies and failings of the art marketplace, where the bottom line is buying and selling. All the artists selected for this issue in one way or another, confuse, pervert, undermine, or distrust the established economy that typically envelops the white cube institution.

The culture-jamming Yes Men actively showcase how farcical government and corporate consciousness can be by submitting absurd business proposals to eager industry professionals, only to have their fantastically bizarre presentations met with applause.

JD Banke creates humanistic and honest works that darkly satirize the reliance on commerce the art market operates within.

Mario Gallucci‘s imperfectly real (photographic) sculptures may resemble real world ordinary objects, but are just paper shells or their image; these “chameleon objects” oppose conceptual art objects that become highly valued when placed inside the gallery setting.

Illustrator and artist Dominic De Venuta discusses commissioning art and the struggle to keep the artistic voice within the client’s proposed plans.

Laura Kikauka‘s objects confuse the high/low art binary through their organization of what is historically deemed “kitsch” by focusing on the personal histories each work demonstrates. While capitalistic tendencies are as prevalent as ever within contemporary art, so are the skeptical eyes of many artists, keeping focused on revealing the invisible art-economy.

Jesse Sugarmann‘s work concerns how globalization has destroyed a local American symbol: the Pontiac automobile. Hollow and motionless cars reveal the sad truth of how the ever-expanding vision to condense and simplify forms results in a narrowing of unique and interesting design.


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