Born and bred in Beirut, Ibrahim Sultani (1996) is a self-taught artist and junior architect based in Los Angeles, California. He obtained his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Lebanese American University (LAU) in June 2019.
Although he's had an avid passion for drawing since the age of 4, it wasn't until 2018 that he rose to prominence thanks to his work on a concept revolving around the Lebanese currency. Inspired by vintage bills, pop culture figures and an Andy Warhol quote, he chose banknotes as his primary canvas on which he painted notable Lebanese figures in an artistic approach to make the local currency valuable again. As a result, he gained local and regional acknowledgment by being featured in leading media outlets, newspapers, magazines and TV channels. Local attention to his work also lead him to participating in multiple exhibitions featuring renowned Middle Eastern artists in which he was the youngest participating artist.
Shortly after graduating from university, Sultani moved to the United States; the country that has the biggest influence on pop culture. He started looking more into notions that fascinate him most: pop art, the allure of celebrity, America’s love of consumerism, mass culture and materialism. Andy Warhol argued that we live in a society in which individuals are seen as a product that we consume. With all these ideas in mind came to life the idea of painting pop culture icons on Monopoly bills: the banknotes of the game that encourages the notion of consumerism. Banknotes are usually decorated with mottos, emblems and historical figures as a tangible form to symbolize a society’s identity, however, Sultani's Monopoly bills are decorated with pop culture figures. In a game of Monopoly in which consumerism is at the essence, pop culture figures are the product to be consumed.
The result is a series of hand-painted portraits of pop icons on real Monopoly bills, both digitally and physically, titled "In Monopoly We Trust". One of one NFT editions are available exclusively on OpenSea. Whereas all physical art is available through the artwork page.