J.S.G. Boggs best known for his hand-drawn, one-sided depictions of U.S. banknotes (known as "Boggs notes") and his various "Boggs bills" he draws for use in his performances. Boggs (born 1955) is an artist who draws paper money, but not for the sake of counterfeiting. Boggs' notes are very high quality and often include subtle humor in their text and portraits.
Because his subject matter is paper money, Boggs has been very well received by the paper money dealers. In addition to the art, he is notorious for creating thought provoking transactions with his art, offering it for goods/services in lieu of real money. The people who accept this transaction get the better end of the deal. His real message is that money is an abstract concept that can be manipulated in interesting and creative ways.
Boggs was first arrested for counterfeiting in England in 1986, but was successfully defended by the human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC and acquitted. He was arrested for a second time in Australia in 1989, but also acquitted. Since 1990 some of his work and personal effects have been confiscated by the United States Secret Service Counterfeiting Division although no legal case has been brought against him.
The reason he avoids criminal liability for counterfeiting is that he does not claim his artworks are money; rather he sells his notes. In September 2006, Boggs was arrested in Florida and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed weapon. He failed to appear in court a few months later.
|Artist J.S.G. Boggs, shown at a New York gallery in 1987, displays his realistic drawing of a $20 bill, which he bartered for a shipment of lobsters.|
Some of his works are below:
|An early 2000s Boggs customized $50 note, from the Thomas Jefferson Center.|
|A 1996 Boggs "Fun" bill, in orange.|
|A Boggs Fr-100 French Franc note, from Demenga Gallery in Basel, Switzerland.|
|An early 1990s Boggs $500 note, from the University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art.|