​On the streets of New York, stories are being told every day.  Since November 2015, through the hustle and bustle of some of the busiest intersections of commerce and people, a flatbed trailer was seen being pulled by a dark blue SUV.  It toured Wall Street, Union Square and of course Times Square; attracting the attention of pedestrians and tourists aplenty.  Many people took photos or selfish with their cell phones in front of the art work.  The work was an oil mosaic painting of an enlarged one dollar replica, aptly named “One Buck” by its magnetic and worldly artist, a man named Stone.

Meet the World's First and Only "One Buck

After 18 years of operating his own multimedia business in between US and China, Stone returned to his art and started painting with renewed vigor.  He realized the business world and the art world were very much alike.  Everyone loves money.  So he began an artistic journey in creating nine pieces of work depicting different currencies of the world.  The last one, the “One Buck” took him one year to complete.

As Stone puts it, “Since “ONE BUCK” is off on the streets, I am not able to tell its future nor am I able to tell my own future. Maybe we really do not know the future of our lives, therefore we are just living, we are going, not knowing whether forward or backward, we are just on the road, on the road of New York, on the road of life, on the road destined by our fate. However only in the best street museum of New York can art break through to the forms and walls to exist freely, to be appreciated by all. This is the aim of my painting and also the ultimate goal of the art I am pursuing”.

To those that do not know who Stone Shi is, all one has to do is ask.  He is a very open and colorful person full of worldly views and grand gestures.  But more than that, his artwork speaks about many themes close to his heart.  Stone grew up in a China, where individual expressions and creativity were shunned and looked upon as non-conforming.  His artistic drive demanded more from himself and in the late 80’s he transplanted himself to the mecca of the bohemian art world, New York City, specifically, the lower east side.  There he immersed himself into his creative work, earned a art scholarship, had group shows at contemporary art galleries such as Alternative Museum, White Columns and Clock Tower. Inspired by heavy metal music, he even picked up and learned the guitar.  From that hobby, he would form his own band, release an album which made him a rock star in Taiwan. From that experience, he parlayed it into TV commercials in Taiwan that were so famous in its time, that people to this day still remember it. As an celebrity rock star, Stone was noticed by MTV, who at the time was forming MTV Asia.  They chose Stone to be the vanguard and their first Chinese VJ (aka VJ Schutze) in MTV Asia.  But through it all, Stone’s artistic soul, something he calls his “creative soul” kept wanting more. He left MTV in 1995 and returned to New York to become an entrepreneur.