"Money is the MOMENT to me.
Money is my MOOD"
(Warhol, quoted in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again, San Diego, New York & London 1977, p. 136).
Few artists made money their concern, on or off the canvas, as openly as Andy Warhol. He himself made many pronouncements on his fascination with the dollar both as a symbol and as something that he cherished, and so it was only natural that the symbol itself, one of the most recognized logos anywhere in the world, that international denominator of currency the Dollar Sign should enter the Pop pantheon of Warhol's oeuvre.
Dollar bills had already featured in his works in the early 1960s, sometimes in drawings, sometimes in sheets of silkscreen. Indeed, Warhol's philosophy had been: "I like money on the wall. Say you were going to buy a $200,000 painting. I think you should take that money, tie it up, and hang it on the wall. Then when someone visited you, the first thing they would see is the money on the wall" (Warhol, quoted in D. Bourdon, Warhol, New York 1995, p. 384). But in the early 1980s, in the age that spawned the idea of wealth that would culminate in American Psycho and Wall Street and that film's infamous mantra, "Greed is good," it was only natural that Warhol should look with fresh eyes at his beloved currency. He took the dollar sign itself as a more mysterious, more generalized, more worship-worthy subject-matter than those earlier images of currency. Removing any specific denomination, Warhol made the Dollar Sign appear as an altarpiece celebrating the currency as an abstract, rather than merely resembling the various bills that the artist may or may not have had, as was the case in the works from the early 1960s. Now, free of the 1, 10, 100 that might have limited its value, the Dollar Sign gained its apotheosis.