Little Pill Buddha

Current Currency for the Emancipation Prescription Nation

Todd Scalise


I started to work with digital media because it allowed me to elaborate on my paintings without overworking the originals. I began by integrating large scans of pharmaceutical pills into the digitized images. The pills were the first photographic element to enter the work and then I moved to 35mm photography to capture shots from the television. I integrated scans of my sketchbook, an array of apocalyptic ballpoint pen drawings and loose thoughts that would never see the light of day in any other way that I make art.

I often repeat symbols and motifs from one work to another. The triangle, a white cat tracing through the streets of Manhattan, and the face of Abraham Lincoln are a few examples. I constantly play with the way conventional imagery, from religious symbolism to stills from science fiction movies, morphs under the scrub and dash of a brush to become panels in a storyboard.

Commerce is one of the subtlest forms of interaction binding all cultures together. I think there are some good reasons why we have decorated our own currency with symbols and motifs passed down to us through the ages. Some of these images are now hidden or obscured. Like money, pills represent an element that is part of our everyday lives. 

Todd Scalise

Millennium Man