AMERICAN ICONS : Hey, Buddy, Can You Spare a Redesigned 100 Bucks?
“Our currency,” said Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, introducing the new counterfeit-thwarting $100 bill (left), which goes into circulation early this year, “is respected throughout the world. This is an example of government doing what it should, staying ahead of the curve.” Still, you can’t beat Southern California artists when it comes to outflanking the Zeitgeist. We asked seven of them to design their very own versions of the $100 bill, no holds barred, and paid them a princely C-note apiece for the privilege. Their creations--invested with images of greed, aggression and vacuous happiness--say more about the color of our money than Franklin’s dour portrait ever could.