The idea for this project has crossed my mind a while ago (several years ago), for various reasons I always put off it for later, but that idea didn’t leave me alone.
By that time the national currency of Ukraine hryvnia (UAH) has plunged in value and the issue of foreign currency as well as financial security of savings, particularly of the US dollar, has become of immediate interest after Ukrainian military actions in the country.
All the news covered the exchange rate of the dollar, it was indeed difficult to buy it, monetary panic had intensified and the currency issue touched practically everyone. People figuratively prayed to dollar and euro. That’s why I decided that it is a high time to make project, that later became known as «Saint Franklin» ~Yurko Dyachyshyn I am often asked – why Benjamin Franklin for this series? Why not Washington or Lincoln?
For the post-Soviet world and for Ukraine in particular, a hundred-dollar bill has always been a symbol of wealth, prosperity, measure of payments and a pattern of material happiness. A hundred-dollar bill has always been a subject of jokes and common in slang. Also it is the most spread illustration for money topics.A portrait of Benjamin Franklin, that covers a one hundred dollar bill, is a well-recognizable image and so is familiar to everyone. But the personality of Franklin is unknown for the overwhelming majority of people.
The project ‘Saint Franklin’ this is just another example of visualization of materialism; moreover the project is also very material itself. Works are being purchased for “franklins” and in its turn that strengthens the message.
The cult of St. Franklin worship is extended in different manifestations and forms around the globe. “Saint Franklin” may have different semblances and may change depending on time and location, embodying the actual visual form for a specific period and space – it could be Dollar, Euro, Yen, gold, diamonds, Ferrari, etc., it may have different names, but all this is the cult of St. Franklin.
This is a question about who do you worship or pray to. This is also the question to ask myself :))
The older I got, the more clearly understand that everything in the world depends on money.
In our world, everything is related to money … no need to explain this. ‘Saint Franklin’ This is not an attempt to blame church for obvious things! We must admit that ‘In Money We Trust.’, Money it’s only one true religion on the world. I often joke that I’m gonna establish a new religion of “St Franklin followers”:))
All these works are handmade collages using sacred Orthodox icons and hundred-dollar bills (real and fake (souvenir). I buy existent sacred icons in the church shops and paste there portraits from the hundreds. The project started in 2015 and ongoing, evolving and transforming in new series and new messages