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.