Hobo nickels are an artform in which miniature bas relief sculptures are carved onto coins. Apparently it’s a burgeoning niche in the underground art world but a dude from Barcelona called Paulo Curcio – aka mrthe – has taken it to the next level with his incredible sculptures of pop culture icons, literary characters and portraits of skulls and death on a variety of different sizes of hobo nickels. If you’re wondering why he chose skulls and death, they’re a prevalent theme of the hobo nickel scene.
What sets apart Curcio’s nickels from other artists is his ability to create coins made from multiple layers of metal which he reveals gradually to create colourful flourishes or background patterns. These are known as clad coins. Check out some of his best work below: