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Meeting Philippe Assalit: Plastician Photographer

Categories : Cash connects people, Cash is a social network, Cash is available to all users, Cash is the first step of financial inclusion, Uncategorized
August 10, 2021
Tags : Banknotes, Cash, Design, Photo contest, Photography
Philippe Assalit, jury member of the IMAGINE CURRENCY competition and plastician photographer, shares his artistic take on banknote design and creations.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

This post is also available in: Spanish

Philippe Assalit, jury member of the IMAGINE CURRENCY competition, is a self-taught photographer and visual artist, and a scientist by training.  His work is primarily concerned with the human body, femininity, and masculinity, at the borderlines between painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography.  He describes himself as a neo-Pictorialist, inspired by the pioneers of collage, grattage, montage, and hand colouring.

©Philippe Assalit

He combines the techniques of make-up, drawing, painting, montage, and three-dimensionality, working in series (of between 10 and 100 photographs) to be viewed chronologically or as a single kaleidoscopic piece.

In the series “Monnaies,” an allegory of civilisations and their cultures, each face is chiseled by the cut-out details of the country’s banknotes to which the model belongs, modeling the portrait of a country and inviting real and imaginary journeys. Wipplay took advantage of the IMAGINE CURRENCY contest to ask him some questions. The goal? To share some inspirations for the next contestants!

©Philippe Assalit

Tell us about your “Monnaies” series. Why have you decided to associate the faces of the women and men from 50 countries around the world to current or historical banknotes?

It is both a journey across the globe and a discovery of each country’s culture, history, and the message it decided to carry out through banknotes. It is also a look at the major financial zones and especially the eurozone, with regards to the ancient and multiple national representations that are no longer used. Besides, it is an interest for the drawing and engraving, and the idea that human beings exchange little pieces of illustrated papers: banknotes.

Can you tell which banknotes and banknotes designers have inspired you? Which one has impacted you the most and why?

It is the 50 francs banknote with Saint Exupéry’s Little Prince on it, created by Roger Pfund – maybe because it was created by an artist. I regret so much that his series for the Euro wasn’t chosen, it was a wonder.

©Roger Pfund, 50 francs banknote Saint-Exupéry

In your opinion, what is the secret recipe for a good artistic banknote?

Invention, creative freedom, and search for meaning, in terms of message obviously but also in terms of aesthetics since it is an object that will travel. A banknote is a country’s ambassador, reflecting its particularities. The most beautiful banknotes gather all of the above.

©Bakoo, Wipplay

©Lecok, Wipplay, Banknote proposition for Breton heritage

©Lecok, Wipplay, Banknote proposition for Breton heritage

If you could create your own currency, what would it be?

In Europe, we use the euro. I am working on banknotes with a common recto for the entire zone, but a different back for each country, like what is done for coins. We will have in our pockets 10 euros bills identified as Greek, Spanish, French, Belgium, German… and so on in the 19 member countries. It is a fresh breeze for the unity of cultures that are all so different. I want to submit this idea to Christine Lagarde.

©WipplaySee more of  Philippe Assalit’s creations on his website.


You still have a chance to share your imagination and win exciting prizes! The contest is open to everyone across the globe. It will run until 29 September 2021 at 23h59, (UTC+2), CEST: Central European Summer Time.

Click here to participate.

This post is also available in: Spanish