You may recall New York Magazine’s cover last August—the one of a nude Lake Bell with a fake black and white rose tattoo stretching from her thigh to her neck? What you might not remember, however, is that her husband, Scott Campbell, was the artist. Based out of Brooklyn, Campbell has inked the skins of many favorites, including Marc Jacobs, Johnny Depp, and Nan Goldin, but more than a tattoo artist, he also creates unusual sculptures and paintings.
Most recognizable are his low-relief sculptures constructed from United States currency. The use of layered bills in former works created images such as the grim reaper, skulls and the sentence, “Bless this Mess.” Of course, given our country’s extremely high economic status at the time of their exhibition in March 2012, these pieces engendered absolutely no mixed feelings or varied sentiments. If anything, they were utterly uplifting and inspiring.
Now, two years later, Campbell is exhibiting a new series of work at Galerie Gmurzynska that employs similar techniques, yet yields an entirely different response. His Sundance award-winning wife inspired the love-themed body of work on display, which is aptly titled “The Smartest Things I Ever Did Were Foolish Things for Love.”
In the collection, layered American dollar bills construct the outline of a nude female figure lying in bed, rather than images commenting on economic turmoil. Oversized dollar bills, to which Campbell added bold black lettering, hang on the gallery’s walls. Making use of the already present “one” on the bills, Campbell creates statements like “Hey hONEy” and “Almost dONE.” And last but not least, a site-specific installation composed of his Fuse Paintings—designs drawn with gunpowder and subsequently lit on fire—takes over the ground floor of the gallery.
If you happen to find yourself in Switzerland before April 20th, see the works yourself at Via Serlas 22 in St. Moritz.