Our new obsession is this company from some of the radical artists that lead TACO through Buenos Aires a couple years back. Liquid Assets Paint & Pigment Company has been providing the perverse thrills shown in the below video to its own economically-fucked-up city since 2007 and is expanding operations this summer from its original location to Los Angeles and New York, where pop-up stores are planned. The company/concept converts coin and cash into the world’s only currency-based acrylic paints and pigments, using different destructive and scientific methods. We can’t explain why we find watching money burn is so hypnotizing, and have more difficulty untangling the mad genius of a for-profit company that defaces the money it makes. “It may sound contradictory,” company spokesperson Fernando Gil tells TACO, “but as it turns out, sometimes you have to destroy money to make money. Liquid Assets is a transparent company with a very solid, proven business model. Goldman Sachs or Enron could learn from the way Liquid Assets runs its business. Those companies just destroy money! We make a beautiful luxurious product with a very practical and defined value.”
As both the video and Gil point out, the more paint an artist squeezes out onto the canvas, “the more value goes into the artwork.” Most of the larger 5 fl. oz. tubes have the equivalent of about $40 U.S. each in different global currencies, we’re told, but some of the company’s custom paints, which have to be pre-ordered, contain pigment valued at up to $500. Gil continues, “Our main product lines are ‘Hard Global’ currency and ‘Soft Global’ currency. Hard is the important, stable currencies like Euro and Pound Sterling and Yen. Soft is volatile currencies like Brazilian real, Argentine peso, Romanian leu, etc. We have some more esoteric custom pigments like ‘Stolen Euro, borrowed Pound sterling, and counterfeit Argentine Peso.”
Naturally we had to ask, what’s the strangest pigment requested so far? “There was one customer who wanted her money ‘Euthanized’ – her words. She sent us an envelope with a lot of crumpled up bills, about 100 Euros in all, and asked us to turn it into paint, which we did.” Gil continues, “God knows what the origin of the money was. But she was very pleased with the result.”
Check out Liquid Assets’ video and blog and look for the company when they come Cali’s way. But don’t say we never warned you to watch your wallets.