Justine Smith is a new found artist (from my perspective), and I'm in love with her work. Dear Justine, can you send me a money grenade? Thanks. Her artist statement concerning the work is quite smart, although somewhat trite at the same time.
Smith's series of flowering plant sculptures and gun sculptures investigate the ideas of extinction, corruption and the impact of power and money on an individual.
The gun sculptures 'Absolute Power', fabricated solely from US dollars, express the fact that that money buys power. The gun itself is a symbol of power, control, violence, danger, war and death. Although the sculptures appear to be solid, they are in fact completely hollow and almost weightless. The fact that they can be crushed in the palm of a hand questions the nature of power and suggests it may be a more delicate and impermanent state than it first appears.
The flowering plant sculptures 'Specimen', feature various dictators and are contained in domes. The fragility of the orchids and poppies are a direct contrast to the dictators featured on the banknotes.