SHOW ME THE MONEY
“I WENT TO COLLEGE FOR REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION,” SAYS E. “I NEVER SAW ART AS A WAY TO MAKE A LIVING, I STARTED DOING WHAT I LOVED AND BECAME SUCCESSFUL.” MONEY WASN’T ALWAYS THE THEME OF HIS WORK AND HE ONLY BECAME “MISTER E” AFTER IT DID.
So everybody likes to make money, but there is a new force in the art world that literally makes it. Known only as Mister E, the 29 yr old artist based out of Delray Beach, Florida, known for his colorful paintings of US currency is making waves of money, and celebrities are lining up to get their hands on it.
Originally from New Jersey but raised in South Florida since the age of ten, Mister E has made Delray Beach his home as well as the “E Treasury”. He recently expanded his space last year, and says he isn’t going anywhere. “I have a working studio I love to come home to,” explains Mister E. “I want people to know I am in Delray Beach, I think it makes it more exciting for them when they have to drive here to buy a painting. Delray is in just the right place.”
Mister E was the hit of Art Basel in Miami this past year with his onslaught of celebrity supporters and South Beach smooth style. Miami is definitely his turf and his connection to the city is seen throughout. He made it rain with $100,000,000 in his signature 100’s at last years Ultra Music Festival. The exclusivity of his art work reaches into the culture of Miami and is even portrayed in Miami’s world famous clubs Story and LIV; when you buy a bottle over $10,000 it arrives to the table in a Mister E piece of art work, signifying the sheer magnitude of money being spent. He also has pieces in hip hotels, such as The Sagamore, that line the famous neon lit beachfront streets. Plans for an exclusive nightclub focusing on art are already in the works and is tentatively scheduled to open during Art Basel this year. Think Soho House meets Warhol’s factory.
Recent patrons have included Miley Cyrus, Lionel Richie, Adam Sandler and Floyd Mayweather. Cyrus was such a
fan that she contacted Mister E through Instagram and then flew him out to her house in California to add some color to her new crib. After finishing Sandler’s Happy Gilmore piece he personally delivered it to him at the Boca Raton Resort where they had dinner. Mister E has an inviting quality about him that sucks you in, as does his art. You feel like you have been friends for years after meeting him for the first time. Take his work- he takes an impersonal object that most of the world is familiar with and personalizes it. The custom piece for Lionel Richie infused aspects of real meaning to the legendary musician, and upon seeing it Richie was blown away.
The famous 100 dollar bill seems to be the key. It all stems from an original bill, which is the heart behind all of the creations. The serial number of the bill is featured throughout the entire body of work and has significance to the artist. The original US banknote is encapsulated in 100 lbs of Lucite and currently resides in his workshop. When asked if he would sell it, Mister E responded, “Everything should be for sale”. “I don’t get attached to art, it’s like later seeing a litter of puppies you gave away.” Currently you can find Mister E’s work in galleries New York City, Chicago, West Palm Beach and soon to be Paris.
Despite the celebrity and the fanfare he takes his craft seriously. “Art is not an easy thing to be known for. I wouldn’t be doing this unless I could be Jeff Koons. I want to be respected in fine art.” Mister E has no lack of ambition either. When asked about his long-term goals he said he wanted the US to produce an unlimited run of his money and never have to spend US currency on anything. When asked the most ridiculous question he receives about his multicolored millions, he replies “Is it real?”