The above art piece is titled "Here Comes Fiat". This piece isn't just well-done . It's more than that. To us, this piece means: "Fiat money is backed by violence".
What is "fiat" money"? "Fiat" money is typically money that a country defines as legal tender. What is legal tender? Legal tender is money that people in a country must accept for the payment of debts. Here is a simplified example of how it works.
You are in Korea. You got a loan from a bank last year, so you have debt. You now want to pay off that debt. You go back to the bank. You present Korean Won to the bank teller to pay off your debt. If the Korean government made Korean Won "legal tender" or "fiat money", then the bank must accept the Korean Won you present.
Well, technically, the bank cannot be forced to take your Korean Won. But the bank can be forced, by the country, to erase your debt--whether or not they take your Korean won. If the bank refuses to erase your debt, then the bank can go to a court of law. But the court of law will consult the laws of the country, and won't decide in their favor. What if the bank still doesn't want to erase your debt? What if they sill want you to "pay back" your debt, but not in Korean Won?
Well, the bank can become a loan shark. They can come to your home, and take other things you have as payment for your debt. They can do that because they are stronger than you. They can use physical force; they can use violence. But there's a problem for the bank. You are not strong, so you are not a problem to the bank. The problem to the bank is someone else who is stronger than the bank and the people it sends. And that someone is the country who backs Korean Won. It is the country's police. It's the country's military. The guns it has. The tanks it has. Tanks like the one Carlos Marcial shows us.
"Here Comes Fiat" looks innocent and calm, and a little ominous. Just like paper money. Paper money looks innocent and calm, but it's dangerous. It's dangerous because what gives paper money value is guns, tanks, and violence. In "Here Comes Fiat", USD bills wrap around the tank. The allusion is towards the violence of the country backing USD. The illusion is the innocence of the USD bills. USD bills are fiat money. And fiat money is backed by violence.
Carlos Marcial expresses this idea masterfully. We think so, at least. We like what this art piece means, and how it connects with a bigger idea. The connection is tight. It is done really well. So well, in fact, that we wish we owned the piece. We almost did, but we discovered it a few seconds too late. We'll have to wait for the another masterful piece on sale by Carlos Marcial.
What might Carlos Marcial's next masterful piece be? The current artwork reminds us that "fiat money is backed by violence". Violence isn't great. We want something better. Something more peaceful. We want a different money. What should money be backed by? Carlos Marcial, tell us with your art. Because your art tells it really well.