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Money Tree

© David Hammons

Money Tree

Artist: David Hammons (Born in Springfield, Illinois, 1943)
Culture: American
Date: 1992
Medium: Sepia print
Image: 16 1/8 x 10 7/8 inches (41 x 27.6 cm)
Sheet: 19 3/4 x 16 inches (50.2 x 40.6 cm)
Mat: 28 x 22 inches (71.1 x 55.9 cm)
Classification: Print
Credit Line: Gift of Blake Byrne, T'57
Label Text:Open this End:
David Hammons’ art is noteworthy for its use of discarded and found materials closely associated with the body, such as chicken parts, strands of African American hair, bottles of cheap wine, rocks, and snowballs. We can see this interest in his documentary photographs like Money Tree, which presents a makeshift basketball hoop embedded in a tree. While images like this evoke the disadvantaged condition of poor black communities, Hammons also sees ritualistic power in them. Basketball functions as a recurring metaphor for black culture in the artist’s work, referencing with irony and empathy the game’s potential to help people achieve financial success.

David Hammons’ varied work encompasses conceptual art, performance, sculpture, painting, video, and immersive environments, all contributing to his insightful, humorous, and biting critiques of race in American society. He has positioned his artistic practice between Dada artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), outsider, or self-taught, art, and Arte Povera, an Italian-originated artist movement of the late 1960s and 1970s that championed the use of materials that could be obtained for free or very cheaply.

Object number: 2017.4.7