Updated: Dec 1, 2022
By DiverseMinds Research Team
Reading time 5 minutes ⏰
The month was December of 1999. It's the holiday season in New York City. Michael was walking home one evening after being laid off from the music industry when I noticed a lot of change on the sidewalks.
It struck him as odd that in such an affluent city, some people could throw money around and not give a damn, while others had nothing. The Lucky Penny Paintings were born from this.
Michael began collecting heads-up pennies–the fortunate variety. I place the penny in a little envelope and write the location and date of discovery on it.
Each penny is transformed into a 4"x 4" acrylic painting, with the size corresponding to the coin.
During the twenty-one years Michael have worked on this project, he has discovered over 400 pennies from all around the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Iceland, Nicaragua, China, Cambodia, Barbados, and elsewhere.
Michael's mother, who raised him with music and art, used to tell him that I "marched to the beat of a different drummer." Others felt he was odd. The music industry was a place where oddballs might succeed, and he discovered that he could work the room even when he didn't want to be there. Art has always been a safe haven for me, a place where I could be alone for hours at a time.
At the age of 54, he was diagnosed with neurodiversity. This new perspective helped him put his history in context, and it may have even saved his life.