by Low Lai Chow in New Art on Friday 25 April 2014

It’s that time of the year to do what we all love to do: file taxes and groan a bit about it. So you can imagine how cool it is that over 700 artists in Mexico take part in Pago en Especie, the Payment in Kind program that allows them to pay income tax in the form of artwork. It started in 1957 with influential artist David Alfaro Siqueiros proposing to the secretariat of finance to keep his friend out of jail for tax evasion by allowing him to pay off his debt in art, and is apparently the only such program of its kind in the whole damn world (why?).

Today, this scheme has resulted in a public collection of 7,000 or so Mexican art pieces traded in as payment for taxes. Sounds quite win-win either way, whether it’s about building a national art legacy or helping artists out financially via what they do best.

Via The Atlantic