Skip to main content

As we continue our tour of Europe’s Money Art scene, we connect with French Money Artist Ciscø.

Born in 1979 in the magnificent French city of Lille, at the border between France and Belgium, the 2004 European Capital of Culture is a major metropolis that delights visitors with a wide-ranging cultural offer, merging history and modernity. Now established in Seine-et-Marne, near Paris, Ciscø shapes his creative skills on distinct banknotes from his home country.

Humble Beginnings

Looking back at how it all started, Ciscø recalls that he developed a passion for the arts since his early childhood.

“Instead of listening to the teacher during a good part of my school years, I sat at the back of the class to draw for long hours in my textbook. This famous notebook was designed to write down our homework to be completed for the following days.”

Carrying on the practice of art while completing his education to the end of school and willing to pursue and grow his artistic training, Ciscø unfortunately missed an opportunity to attend an Art School in Belgium due to family problems. As the years went by, Ciscø’s circumstances required him to quickly become independent, settle down, and start working to pay the bills. Ciscø devoted himself to taking odd jobs to earn a living and pay rent, while practicing art in his own time, decorating his apartment with his creations.

From Deep Regret to Nostalgic Joy

A 500 French Francs banknote type Pascal, on the portrait the figure of Star Wars character Darth Vader with graffitis. Space ships complete the drawing.
“Street Star” | © Ciscø

Ciscø has always regretted the transition to the Euro and the abandonment of Francs (the French currency prior to January 2002).

“It was very hard for me to accept the transition to this new currency and leave the manipulation of Francs. For this reason, and in order to continue to touch them, feel them, and look at them, it was logical for me to invest myself in this universe by drawing on these Francs which represent memories of my childhood. The baguette for 1 franc, the token from the carousel fair for 5 francs, the liter of gasoline for 3 francs, etc.”

At the beginning of 2019, Ciscø was inspired to embark on the artistic adventure of Money Art, thanks to a gallery curator in Honfleur, a coastal town in Normandy. Realizing he should step out of his comfort zone and let collectors discover his style, he created his company “Art2cisco”.

Give a Symbol a Second Chance

Artist Ciscø wears a black hoodie and a green cap leans on his wooden desk while drawing. Around him, a range of assorted colored markers and in front of him a monitor with his logo "Art2Cisco".
Ciscø working in his study | © Ciscø

Fascinated by the French 500 Francs banknote widely known as “Pascal“, designed in 1968 by the Banque de France, Ciscø decided to embed his talent on this symbolic piece of Art Fiduciaire. The “Pascal” banknote was the highest French circulating monetary value from 1969 to 1997, displaying a bold modern design, breaking from the classical style. The “Pascal” has captivated generations of French people and artists.

“This nostalgia for the Francs directs me towards an artistic theme that I personally like.”

To celebrate this beloved cultural legacy and reflecting on his sources of inspiration and influences, Ciscø mentions that he draws inspiration from Pop culture, Graffiti, and Street Art, with the 1980s-1990s being his preferred creative period. Ciscø’s selection of current, iconic, and pop culture themes confers a unique and exclusive touch to this symbolic banknote, meticulously using acrylic paint, either with a brush or markers such as Posca or Molotow™. To Ciscø, it’s also a way to offer the “Pascal” a second life, well past its existence as legal tender, a tribute to the interconnection of our past with the present.

“It is essential for me to draw on authentic banknotes that have gone through many stories. I choose them carefully with apparent degradation to show that they have been circulating for many years. Maybe they travelled around the world! My banknotes will always remain in collective memories. It is an eternal memory to collect at home.”

Ciscø’s fondness for French money drove him to try a new creative medium. He recorded a short amateur movie in 2022, depicting his artistic activity called “Nostalgie des Francs“.

Asked if he has faced challenges in using currency as a medium to create art, Ciscø reveals:

“I mainly use French collectible banknotes. There is no challenge, just reminding collectors that this currency is still part of our lives.”

Celebrated Creative Peculiarity

A 500 French Francs banknote type Pascal, on the portrait's left, a pink Cookie Monster playing drums, on the right the Pink Panther stands leaning on the bust's top.
“The Choice” | © Ciscø

Choosing to remain very discreet by letting his works speak about him, Ciscø is nonetheless celebrated both in his native homeland and globally. His art has received Awards such as the Originality Prize and the 1st Prize for his work’s quality and creativity at the Art Show Paris exhibition in 2022.

“I receive many positive comments which touch me deeply. Collectors find these to be very original and atypical creations.”

Ciscø is delighted to see his artworks travel to every corner of France and further through European borders, exhibited in various French and international galleries.

“Today, I sell throughout the world to private collectors from all backgrounds and increase the number of openings to share my artistic universe. My biggest emotional surprises were sending paintings to unlikely cities like Riga in Latvia, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Reunion Island, and, even more surprisingly, to an individual in Hong Kong.”

Grateful to his growing network of supporters, Ciscø declares:

“I thank all collectors and gallery owners for trusting me. Without them, we (artists) would not be able to move forward and make ourselves known. As an artist passionate about drawing and nostalgic for the Francs, I am very happy to share my works and know that they are exhibited.”

Be inspired

Explore Ciscø’s Featured Gallery