Art Fiduciaire

Banknote design involves analysis and technique among multiple disciplines, this is why criticism of banknotes must be subject to three main elements: the theory that relates to the context and knowledge; the technique that demands the objectivity, and the ideology, which is no more than thoughts that describe cultural and social values, that is to say, human perception.
Banknote components such as substrates, ink, security features, and printing techniques has been used for continuous enhancements and added sophistication. Despite technological challenges, artists and banknote designers employ artistic styles and creativity in currency conception.

Banknotes and coins, through symbolism and iconographical choices, narrate a nation’s identity. Currency becomes a national symbol when the design resonates with the population’s values, preserving cultural messages even after it’s withdrawn from circulation therefore, contributing to the shared national heritage.

This is how Banknote Art Concept™ recognises Art Fiduciaire as a form of visual art in currency.

Carlos Almenar Diaz journey as both a banknote designer and a contemporary artist truly crosses cultures and disciplines, deeply influencing my artistic vision and my approach to art. Immersing herself in the study of cultures, human perceptions, technology, development, industrial processes, and the intricacies of counterfeiting has been pivotal. These elements are the backbone of designing banknotes, yet he finds her muse in the amalgam of artistic styles, currents, structural compositions, and the play of colours. This blend of aesthetics and functionality is what he strives for; a banknote, to me, is more than just a piece of art—it’s a functional product that plays a vital role in our daily lives.

Understanding the dual value of banknotes—both monetary and cultural—is crucial. They are not only mediums of exchange but also bearers of cultural identity and artistic expression.

Carlos’s see the evolution of banknotes through three distinct artistic lenses. Initially, the classic era, characterised by ornate designs of the 18th and 19th centuries, highlighted by burin engraving and a monochromatic palette. Then came the modern era, inspired by the 20th century’s shift towards multichromatic schemes and the incorporation of modern art styles in imagery.

We now find ourselves in the contemporary era, where digital tools have replaced hand engraving, and the design process embraces colour theory and narrative images, ranging from graphic synthesis to hyper-realism. This progression reflects not only technological advancements but also a deepening of the narrative and aesthetic qualities of banknotes, underscoring their importance as a cultural artefact.

Banknote Concepts

Hippocampus Housenote – Front

Banknote cotton paper

2012, France

Banknote of the Future Award

The Time Banknote Concept – Front

Concept artwork

2018, Portugal

Humania Currency – Front

Concept artwork

2021, Swiss

The Future – Front

Concept artwork

2022, Australia

Hummingbird, Banknote Art Concept – Front

Concept artwork

2023, Australia