EMESS – What’s the colour of money?

Vernissage: 04.09.2009, 7pm

Date: 04.09.-11.10.2009


EMESS is not so much a superstar street artist and he’s not after world records. He garners acclaim with an impressive formal spectrum and adaptive complexity. EMESS considers himself an urban sculptor and printer, who employs the most diverse means of expression to artistically create an impact on public space. The Berlin artist’s works range from poster walls to large-format stencil work and meter-high installations. EMESS chooses medium, place and time of his interventions according to

the message he wants to transmit; these works are not about tame street decoration: EMESS’ eye-catching works make you feel uncomfortable. Besides producing a series of cement and wood installations, EMESS worked intensively on stencil portraits on issues in the financial world.. The portraits were not meant to reflect the general financial crisis, they are far more a contemplation on personal experiences with action, production, time, money, freedom and market.

In this series of portraits, EMESS uses the well-known prints of the famous personalities depicted on currencies like the dollar, the pound, the Danish and Swedish krona or the Turkish lira. EMESS combines the antique handicraft style of wood and copper engraving with the “pop-iness” of modern song titles and beyond that deals with our profane relationship to our beloved money.

Pink letters scream the famous Beatles title “(Money)… can’t buy me love!” under the image of Queen Elisabeth taken from the English Pound note . Or the one dollar icon George Washington decorates himself with the song title “(Money)… don’t matter tonight!” by Prince. In the exhibition “What’s the colour of money!?” EMESS reworked this series to create new imaginative and humerous variations of his own street art projects. More than 50 collages also demonstrate that the origins of street art isn’t only only in graffiti, but that street art’s roots have also touched constructivism, pop-art and Dada. Besides being a part of the big street art show “Urban Affairs extended”, EMESS had exhibitions in Bristol, Stockholm, Prague, Munich and in the Museum of European Cultures in Berlin. EMESS was published in “Street art in Berlin” by Kai Jokobs and “London Streetart Anthology” by Alex Macnaughton, as well as in articles of the Kunstforum 193.