Funny Money, by Los Angeles artist Jesse Velasquez, is a contemporary meditation on capitalism in the United States and the value placed on corporate prosperity over care of the environment or people. A child of Mexican immigrants, Velasquez’s holistic worldview was shaped by ideological clashes within his masculine and Catholic East LA upbringing. Skepticism of rigid religious and capitalistic systems permeates his artwork. Velasquez leaves the viewer with the following messages — "Love is almighty” and "There is no evil in darkness; all evils are human."
"My intention is to snap people out of the rat race for at least a moment and to put a smile on someone's face. Small sheets of paper worth a prescribed amount that allows us to own things, or to be convinced that we own things—it's funny. Funny Money."
- Jesse Velasquez
X Projects, established in 2021, explores the creation of artworks, editions, and ideas outside the confines of traditional book publishing. Funny Money is X Projects’ first edition.
Jesse Velasquez, who goes by the moniker TrappedinFlesh, is a visual artist based in Los Angeles. His playful artwork mixes humor and social commentary on the current political climate.
Danny Kirschenbaum is the founder and general manager for Umico — a printing and framing studio in Los Angeles.
2021; edition of 1,000; 250 illustrated bills printed on Starbright #80; 7.25 x 3.375 x 1.25 in. Prints by Umico. Scans by Echelon.