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David Hammons

Money Tree, 1992

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Sepia-Print photograph,
16 1/2 x 11” (42 x 28 cm),
Ed. 70/XXV, signed and numbered

Readymade magic. A basketball hoop fashioned from the rim of a bicycle tire, embedded in a living tree in a Charleston backyard, testifies to the ingenuity of its anonymous maker.


“Hammons has described his practice as ‘tragic magic,’ taking the discarded vestiges of black life and transforming them, restoring them to a lost potency reinvested with the power of the fetish.” Emma Dexter and Iwona Blazwick Parkett No. 31, 1992


An inventive and influential artist of our time, Hammons creates work that addresses the experiences of African American life and the role that race plays in American society. As in many of Hammons works, the title and the image of "Money Tree" work together as a verbal and visual pun to generate meaning— in this case, an allusion to basketball providing an escape from urban poverty. Hammons has explored the theme of basketball overtime in many different works.