For an ongoing project entitled Tales You Lose, Frankfurt-based Brazilian designer Andre Levy (aka zhion) uses paint to alter the faces on coins so that portraits of politicians and potentates become pop culture icons. The coins come from a host of different countries, acquired by Andre during his travels.

Levy creatively transforms ordinary currency into pop culture portraits, artistically raising their value. Though we may see his adjustments as turning an ordinary object into art, the designer says: “Coins are actually massively-reproduced little sculptures. This project brings individual character to each replica, and makes us think: Are we able to like one cent more than others, just by injecting new stories in it?”

Follow the progress of Tales You Lose here on Tumblr or on Facebook (where you’ll also find many earlier images of zhion’s transformed currency).

[via My Modern Metropolis]