The work of artist Tom Badley is the culmination of a lifelong fascination with money – its essence and its art.

The common banknote – paper currency – is an intricate puzzle, of fascinating details and technical brilliance. The Banknote is the Alpha and Omega of art: it is pattern, typography, portraiture, drawing. It is lithography, silkscreen, intaglio, letterpress. A banknote is the touchstone of culture, the window into worlds, a monument, memorial, and memory. Banknotes are mass-produced, yet personal. Identical, yet crafted.

Tom Badley attended the prestigious Slade School of Art, London. Mere months after graduating in Summer 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed.

Badley was hypnotized by the spectacle of ’08 financial crisis, and was immediately inspired to blend art and money. As he progressed through a whirlwind of shows around London, Badley posted fictional banknote designs online. He soon received inquiries from revolutionaries and rebels, who genuinely wanted an alternative form of money. These collaborations ultimately led to being headhunted by one of the world’s most prolific printers of banknotes in the world. And there, in the money factory, is where Tom Badley acquired the technical knowledge to literally make money.

With this deep technical understanding, a passion for complexity and craft, Tom Badley hopes to offer original art imbued with all the gravitas and intricacy of paper money.


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