Tampa [Florida] Museum of Art, 2000. 17 plates (8 color). 40 pp. Black, decorated paper covers. 21.3 x 28 cm. (oversquare). James Stephen George Boggs (1955-) did not invent his signature work--there were plenty of skilled hand-forgers before him--but he was no criminal. Rather, he was an artist putting a fascinating twist on the concept of "money." He exchanged his accurately drawn copies of US and other currency with merchants and others for the face value of the "bills." In other words, his hand-drawn dollar bill netted him one dollar's worth of goods from any store or restaurant that would accept it in exchange. He is the subject of at least three books: Shapinski's Karma, Bogg's Bills, and other Truth-Life Tales (1988), by Lawrence Weschler; Boggs: a Comedy of Values (1999), also by Weschler and based on his late-1980s articles in The New Yorker; and The Justice Game (1988), by Geoffrey Robertson, which has a chapter on the defence of Boggs in a British criminal trial. Some damage to edges of covers at open end (see scan). Would that he had crossed my door.
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