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In Time of Inflation, Argentine Artist Paints on Money

Artist Sergio Diaz holds intervened Argentine pesos bills and a US dollar depicting Steven Spielberg's movie "Shark" as a parody of Argentina's ever-increasing inflation, in Salta, Argentina, December 30, 2022. (REUTERS/Javier Corbalan)
In Time of Inflation, Argentine Artist Paints on Money
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Inflation has caused Argentinian artist Sergio Guillermo Diaz to create an unusual kind of art. He paints on money and sells it.

With yearly inflation that likely neared 100 percent last year, Argentina’s 1,000-peso bill is worth around $5.60 officially and only $3.00 on private markets.

Diaz, in a talk with Reuters in the northern city of Salta, said, "... it makes sense for me to paint on the largest denominated bill here in Argentina. Once I paint on it, I can sell it for much more than what the bill is worth."

He says he includes ideas about inflation and the peso's loss of value into his works, which also feature the U.S. one-dollar bill.

On the money, he has painted pictures such as soccer star Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup. He has also created images about the peso's loss of value in recent years – a change that has helped pull 40 percent of the country's population into poverty.

Diaz said his work shows “how inflation is lived, how this is growing, which ultimately affects us all, totally affects our lives and our purchasing power, how we are living through this crisis."

I’m John Russell.

Javier Corbalan reported on this story for Reuters. John Russell adapted it for VOA Learning English.


Words in This Story

denominate – v. to be expressed in an exact kind of monetary unit (said of sums of money)

ultimately – adv. at the most basic level : in the central or most important way