Mexican Surrealist painter has his amazing work showcased on a new silver coin series

Art has always been popular on coins and never more than now as new technologies aimed at modern numismatics have broadened just what is possible reproducing them. While most mints play safe and stick with the famous masters, this new collaborative issue from Coins Boutique and European Mint has brought something more esoteric to market.

The most important thing is to pick a piece of art that people want to see and the work of Octavio Ocampo is certainly something we think fits the bill perfectly. Utilising story-telling elements to form an image viewable in multiple ways, Ocampo cleverly merges small distinct images to form something else when looked at as a single piece. Case in point is the painting shown on this first coin. Either an angelic figure escorting two children over a bridge, or a satanic face, both are correct interpretations of the artwork. Both work with each other and we’re sure a psychologist would have much to say over which image you saw first…

To spice things up a little more, the coin has a luminescent coating that depicts a menacing visage when the lights go dim. Again, it’s a clever idea, even if the artwork is more than capable of speaking for itself and you can see it if you run your mouse pointer over the coin image below. Thankfully, the artwork is devoid of unnecessary inscriptions. Of particular note is the coin rim. Made to look like a carved wooden frame, it’s a superb way to enhance the artwork.

The obverse is a standard Niue affair; just the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II along with the usual inscriptions (issuer, date, denomination). Struck in an ounce of fine silver, the coin is a good size and will hopefully be more affordable as a result. Just 500 of these are being struck and it’s to be the first in a new series depicting the work of Ocampo. The artist has a quite extraordinary range of work, being very prolific and extremely inventive (you can see some of it above), so this could well be a series worth keeping an eye on. At the very least it’s a fine introduction to this very talented Mexican artist.



Octavio Ocampo (born 28 February 1943 in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico) is a Mexican surrealist painter. He grew up in a family of designers, and studied art from early childhood. At art school, Ocampo constructed papier mache figures for floats, altars, and ornaments that were used during carnival parades and other festivals. In high school, Ocampo painted murals for the Preparatory School and the City Hall of Celaya. Ruth Rivera, daughter of artist and muralist Diego Rivera, and Maria Luisa Mendoza encouraged him to attend the School of Painting and Sculpture of the National Fine Art Institute.

The talents of Octavio Ocampo are not limited to painting and sculpture, but also extended to acting and dancing. At the Art Institute of San Francisco, he studied all these disciplines and pursued both a film and theater career. In 1976, he began to devote himself solely to painting and sculpture. He now works primarily in the metamorphic style – using a technique of superimposing and juxtaposing realistic and figurative details within the images that he creates.

Ocampo is known for several works in his sometimes wryly sardonic, sometimes evocative paintings in which detailed images are intricately woven together to create larger images – the optical illusion fading back and stepping forward as you study the pieces, notice the details, and finally recognize the large scale intention. This is what Octavio Ocampo terms his “metamorphic” style.

Several collections in Mexico contain his work, and individual works of his have been commissioned for among others former President Jimmy Carter (commissioned as a gift from the then President of Mexico José López Portillo it was presented from the United Mexican States), Jane Fonda, Cher (for the front and back covers of her Heart of Stone album), and César Chávez. (Source: Wikipedia)


COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 53.00 x 36.00 mm
FINISH Prooflike
MODIFICATIONS Colour, glow-in-the-dark
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
By | 2017-08-07T13:19:29+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|Categories: Art & Literature, Coloured, Silver, Niue Island|2 Comments


  1. lee August 4, 2017 at 17:27 - Reply

    Do we know who will be stocking this? Thanks in advance

    • Mik Woodgate
      Mik Woodgate August 5, 2017 at 15:37 - Reply

      Definitely Coins Boutique and European Mint (two blue-button links above), but it’s a new release, so many dealers have only just seen it. We’d imagine it will get around most of the usual bigger dealers, especially those that stocked the Al Capone bullet rim coin.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.