Oil on canvas, oil on loose change. Jacqueline Lou Skaggs has created several tiny masterpieces in her “Tondi Observations” collection, miniature oil paintings made on old Lincoln pennies. ‘Tondi’ refers to a classic circular form of art, though, admittedly, they’re typically much larger than the head of a coin.
Initially these coins were going to be spent- nestled with other coins in an exchange of goods. Or tossed back to the sidewalks from whence they came. Nice thoughts. However, these works remain hoarded as art rather than currency or discarded, valueless copper.
The artist uses pennies, the most common and ubiquitous coin, to explore the “binding ideologies that define our family, religious, social and political worlds.” An interesting paradox presents itself here, as Skaggs’ act of art increases the coin’s original value exponentially, while systematically destroying its technical face value as a piece of currency.
See more of Skaggs’ work on her website, here.