Boggz Project Logo Red Large

Unique Crypto + Currency NFT Artwork

benjamin pink superbills panel

What Is The Boggz Project?

Launched in 2020, the Boggz Project produces unique, collectible digital renderings of currency as works of art. We’re inspired by the life’s work of J.S.G. Boggs, the Patron Saint of Cryptocurrency.

Our limited editions of digital art are distributed as NFTs, or non-fungible tokens built on the ERC-721 standard. Each token represents a unique piece of digital art that can be held in private collection or resold to other collectors.

Never heard of NFTs? No problem. Think of them as digital certificates of authenticity that can’t be faked, copied or moved without your permission.

Who Is J.S.G. Boggs?

James Stephen George Boggs (1955-2017) was an American artist renowned for his paintings of U.S. currency that, as works of art, became more valuable than the bills they originally represented.

His so-called “Boggs Bucks” were never intended to pass as legal tender. In fact, Boggs often included jokes and political statements within his drawings. Some were meticulously drawn dopplegangers of real money; others were meant to satirize or amuse.

Boggs also had a shrewd lens on culture. In 1995, more than two decades before the U.S. Treasury announced (and later delayed) its Harriet Tubman $20 bill, Boggs created his own $100 homage to the civil rights figure.

“It’s all an act of faith. Nobody knows what a dollar is, what the word means, what holds the thing up, what it stands in for.” —J.S.G. Boggs

The Currency Continuum

Boggs wasn’t the first to create, deface and enhance legal tender as a challenge to the conventions of art, commerce and worth.

William Harnett’s (1848–1892) paintings were so convincing that the Secret Service — the Federal agency that continues to enforce counterfeiting laws to this day — threatened him with arrest.

Michael Harnett Still Life with Five Dollar Bill

Harnett’s “Still Life Five Dollar Bill,” above, was seized from its owner, a New York saloon owner who’d hung the work behind his bar. Apparently spooked, Harnett stopped painting money.

Fully aware of Harnett’s troubles, fellow artist John Haberle (1856–1933) drew on his skills as a draftsman and engraver to create even more verisimilitudinous paintings of U.S. currency.

john haberle One Dollar Bill 1890

Thanks to his “One Dollar Bill,” above, and other similar paintings, Haberle, too, got a knock on the door from the feds. Unlike Harnett, Haberle continued to paint currency in the trompe l’oeil fashion.

To get closer to our own spiritual ancestors, we must consider famed Dadaist Marcel Duchamp who once famously paid his dentist with a hand-drawn check in the amount of $115.

Marcel Duchamp Tzanck Check

Drawn on the fictitious “Teeth’s Loan & Trust Company Consolidated of New York,” the document (above) was not intended to pass as the real thing: Dr. Tzanck, an avid collector, was known to accept art in lieu of cash payments. It’s reported that Duchamp subsequently bought it back at a substantial premium.

Five years later, Duchamp endeavored to raise 15,000 francs through the sale of “Monte Carlo Bonds” valued at 500 francs apiece. The bonds, the artist claimed, were “issued for the exploitation of a system to break the bank in Monte Carlo.” By playing roulette, specifically.

Marceh Duchamp Monte Carlo Casino Bond

Though Duchamp planned to create 30 such bonds, it’s believed just eight were realized. In 2015, one sold at auction for $2.4 million. Others are held in museum collections around the world.

There’s no greater example of money-as-art-as-money than Andy Warhol’s “Dollar Bill” series of 10 silkscreens produced in the early 60s.

The largest in the series, “200 One Dollar Bills,” above, is a life-size 20-by-10 grid of $1 bills. It sold at Sotheby’s in 2009 for $43.8 million. Warhol was also known to sign $2 bills as, one could argue, an early act of culture jamming. Authenticated copies fetch upwards of $10,000.

Sitting in a Chicago diner, the then-Stephen Boggs idly drew a one-dollar bill on a paper napkin. Intrigued, the waitress offered to buy it. Boggs instead offered an even exchange: his $1 drawing for $1 in value.

JSG Boggs posed
Charles O'Rear/Corbis, via Getty Images

So began a very interesting art career that would last until Boggs’ death, at 62, in 2017.

Between 1990 and 2008, David LaChapelle produced his “Negative Currency” series.

Using a number of different bills — including American fifties and 100 Chinese yuans — LaChapelle produced colorful, oversized chromogenic prints that continue to command premium prices among collectors.

A decade after Boggs’ ascendance, Banksy printed 100,000 fake £10 bank notes, drawn on the “Banksy of England” and featuring Princess Diana’s portrait in place of Queen Elizabeth II’s.

These so-called “Di-faced Tenners” were dropped on crowds at the Notting Hill Carnival and the Reading Festival, and in the Liverpool subway station during rush hour.

In February 2019, the British Museum added one of Banksy’s fake tenspots to its collection.

banksy thinker monkey

It being a donation from Banksy’s own authentication house, Pest Control, one’s suspicions might be raised.

The Boggz Project launches.

Boggz Benjamin Clip

We are the digital descendent of, and tribute to, this work that came before — part simulacra, part stunt, part statement.