Printed in 1982, Dollar Sign 9 is a signed screen print in colour by Andy Warhol. The print depicts nine dollar signs in a grid formation. Each sign is rendered in a different colour composition of bold, contrasting colours against a bright red backdrop. The signs are all unique in composition and colour, with coloured layering adding to the print’s vibrant feel and multi-layered aesthetic.
Dollar Sign 9 is part of the Dollar Sign series. This is one of Warhol’s most famous series which takes the US currency as its source of inspiration. Produced during the commercial and material boom of the Raegan era, this series exemplifies Warhol’s ability to identify the cultural zeitgeist. By painting money, Warhol not only responds to the commercialism that came to define 1980s America, but he also captures his keen interest in money and wealth, linked intimately to his fascination with celebrity culture. Unlike other print series like Campbell’s Soup or Ads, in which Warhol takes and appropriates pre-existing images, with this series, Warhol drew the dollar sign from scratch. The artist drafted countless dollar signs before deciding on one that was suitable for the series.
By painting a symbol of money, Warhol shamelessly exposes the business of art as a commodity, making an explicit link between the money gained from a work of art and the work of art itself. In this print, Warhol experiments with colour, sketched shading and gestural lines. In doing this, he transforms the international symbol of US currency into a 20th century icon of Pop Art.