When Russia attacked Ukraine a huge humanitarian crisis followed, and so did the collapse of the Russian currency, the ruble. As the currency hit nearly zero – in part because of sanctions that banned any trade of rubles – a secret stash was smuggled out of Russia from St. Petersburg and delivered to 30 artists from around the world. The goal? Turn the rubles into art that raises money for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Kiwi expat Clemens Zlami, associate creative director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, has worked on the Rubles for Ukraine project with Jordan Dale who is creative director at Amplify London. The pair were creative partners from university.
Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Amplify London also helped get behind the idea.
Artist: Jonathan Faust
Says Zlami: “It’s been a fun process bringing a team together across different agencies and time zones… but it wouldn’t have happened without Benny Gold (Goodby Silverstein & Partners design director) and the rest of our lovely producers and young creatives.”
Names such as Gold, Holly Ellis, Efdot and Jonathan Faust make up the all star list of street artists, tattoo artists, graphic designers, NFT and type creators and sculptors who have created pieces from Russian rubles.
Artist: Benny Gold
The Bay Area streetwear designer and designer, Benny Gold turned a stencil and spray paint. Scrawling the words “No war” on the very cash that’s helping fund it.
Artist: Holly Ellis
Viewing the collection is as much an eye trip as it is an emotional rollercoaster. Of particular note are a physical flower made from cut rubles, which accompanies a young Ukrainian woman wearing a pensive look and a vinok, a traditional floral crown and symbol of pride in Ukraine.
Artist: David Mascha
The collection is offered for sale via kairos.art with 100% of the sales price going directly to CARE.org’s Ukraine humanitarian crisis fund, helping families without power, water or warmth as the freezing cold Ukrainian winter sets in.
The artworks are auctioned, framed and ready to hang in their physical form. An NFT component offers total transparency, allowing buyers to see every single dollar go directly to CARE.org, and a credit card option is also available for those who aren’t yet set up with crypto wallets.
Artist: Adam Hathorn
The Rubles For Ukraine currency exchange might be the only place where people can legally buy rubles, but it’s also the place where people can make an impact for those affected by the war, and buy the most beautiful money that’s not in circulation.
When: 8pm (PST) December 8
Follow @rublesforukraine for more information.
With artwork from:
Mary Joy Scott
Agencies: Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Amplify London
Co-creators: Clemens Zlami, Jordan Dale, Benny Gold
Creatives: Rich Forzano, Martha Shafer, Duncan Spear, Rachel Nagpal
Production: Jim King, Tena Goy, Noah Dasho,
Account: Brittany Ryley
Production partners: Katie Chen and Jeanie Ngo @Kairos.art