All Paintings In This Series Are Acrylic On Canvas
After completing a number of table top parody paintings in 2013, I decided to try throw more video games into the mix. I had done a Call Of Duty parody painting in 2012, that had a social injustice undertone like many of my early board game paintings, but wondered if I did an arcade parody series, what might happen. I completed a number of "Golden Age Of Video Game" paintings, 1970's and 1980's era, and were able to sell a number of them in a row to one collector, Robert Bukaty of Kansas City, through the Todd Weiner Gallery. After completing a dozen or so game parody paintings that were more popular on the Atari gaming systems, I switched to games that came out a little later, more popular on the Nintendo formats. I was able to hold on the bulk of these originals for a few years, and dreamed about taking them out of Kansas City to New York or Los Angeles, when lo and behold, I was invited to show them at "Art Of The Videocade" in Pasadena in the summer of 2018, at the Peekaboo Gallery. The show featured the art alongside the most pristine collection of classic arcade games I'd ever seen in one place. It was co-hosted by Matt Kennedy, famed gallerist of La Lus De Jesus in Los Angeles, and got a spot on the KTLA Channel 5 News that included a segment about the eleven paintings chosen for the show. Multiple originals were sold as a result.
This was inspired by the video game of a similar name I play on occasion. It puts the gamer in a position to kill or be killed by enemy soldiers. Lots of arcades and digital games have glorified violence over the years and gotten called out for it in the media – Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil and Grand Theft Auto to name a few. This one seems to have a gottena free pass by parental groups and the FCC due to the armed forces themel. I tied in America’s War In Iraq to illustrate that point. Be all that you can be!
Air up your NASA suit and put on your astronaut helmet. When your brain’s in the game you’re never completely here on earth. Out of this world, in space, no one can hear you scream. Venture the galaxy, launch missles, shoot rockets, rack up the most points to win. Dodge asteroids, zap martians, and travel the universe. 3 Lives for only a quarter, just never forget; there is no dark side of the moon, really; as a matter of fact, it’s all dark
The term, “man vs. machine” is typically a gloomy portent, used to describe the point in human history when artificial intelligence turns the tables. Writers of science fiction have told the tale of the mechanical apocalypse in every conceivable version. But what if the war between man and machine is not fought over our bodies or resources….but our minds? While machines have yet to slap chains to us physically, the knowledge of their pleasures remains at the forefront of our thoughts, even when we’re trying not pay it attention. Video games were the original choice of digital entertainment. What people forget and maybe never understood in the first place, is that just because you stop playing the game, doesn’t mean the game stops playing you.
Mankind is on the brink of extinction and you’re it’s only hope. The best pilot of the western hemisphere, your fellow astronauts have been captured and held for hostage by extraterrestrial invaders. Space travel is faster paced than any previous mission and the stakes have never been higher. Zip back and forth, left to right, spin back around and fry the alien scum trying to take over the planet. Laser beams and rockets light the sky as you continue to accelerate. One wrong move could mean the difference between becoming solar ashes or the earth’s ultimate defender. Game on!!!
Younger, fresher, hotter, Mz. Pac Man stole the spotlight from her husband’s hey day and has never given it back. Why should she? Her game was always vastly superior to her hubby’s original, more mazes, more warp tunnels, and more challenging. The ghosts move randomly now, preventing the using of patterns to win, the fruit also moves randomly, making the decision to go for more points over level progression more intense. And while the gamers are competing, news anchors, professional photographers, lighting crews and sound engineers all race each other to catch the queen of games in lights. A few lucky ones might even capture some choice words, their stories becoming the focal point of evening broadcasts, making themselves stars for a day and the envy of their local stations. So pop in a quarter, munch on some pellets, devour the power pellets to get revenge on the ghosts and have a good time. She aims to please, and always succeeds!!!
Here they come!!! Beaming death ray lasers carelessly through crisscrossed skies. Here they come!!!! Alien nations in cosmic melee fry. Here they come!!! Hovering above subdivisions with destruction on their minds. Here they come!!!! Space Invaders! Run for your life and hide! Here they come!!!
Ribbet, ribbet. Oncoming headlights from traffic speed through the highway down by the river banks. Your fellow frogs, toads and tadpoles await you on the other side, with feasts of flies,grasshoppers, and worms. But first you must cross the freeway, where semi trucks and motorcycles race to squash you like pancake, spilling your cute little froggy guts all over the shoulder of the road. Should you live, you than cross the river, where undertows and predators lurk just beneath the water’s surface, ready to devour you should you slip off a snapping turtle or log. So join Jerry, Costanza and Cosmos Kramer down at Mario’s Pizza, where you won’t have to risk helping George push the arcade machine across the street on a battery just to see if you can beat his high score. Don’t get too much mozarella grease on the joystick either. Splat!!!
The sky is still dark as you arrive at the launching site; dawn is mere moments away on the Florida coastline. With hearing protection in and fuses lit, you launch your missile, then run back to base as fast you can before the imminent explosion. Colonels and computer commanders strategize the direction it travels post-launch; multi-tasking between defending against weaponry fired at sitting-duck cities, and attacking the enemy head-on. Whether at war against foreign dictatorships or an extraterresrial threat, there is honor in battle. And we, as a unit, salute you.
Some think the birthplace of digital gaming was in the backroom of a Japanese computer store, when it may have started on the tarmac of a tennis court. And it may not have originated in the form of am electronics geek with pimples and a pocket protector; but a beautiful valley girl with a visor and a racket. Left and right, back and forth, one love, two love, score! Sliding a quarter down the slot is the 21st century equivalent of starting up a ball machine. What once was a training exercise for the body has develeoped into entertainment for the mind. But with a scoring sytem, like ping pong, that actually makes sense.
Every loner can learn to be a criminal, without fear of repercussions. No matter how much a dweeb, dipshit, or nerd ass bitch one may be in real life, they can feel like a gangster in this smash hit. Steal cars, go clubbin’, hit up the strip club and sling large amounts of your favorite narcotics. Gamble at the casino, deal some more drugs, rob banks and armored vehicles. 25 to life if you kill someone, death penalty if it’s a cop. Grab a controller, saw off a shotgun, and fire first! Bang!
Your fighter craft from the golden age of video games has been tweaked to perfection the second time around, pilot. You can fire more than one shot at a time, & we’ve included challenging practice courses between space battles to help you train. The enemy fleets fly in similar formations and patterns as real flight scenarios, which should help you laser beam the bumble bees, crabs, scorpions and dragon flies before they laser beam you. But beware the “boss” galagas! Their ships have been upgraded too, and not only does it take twice as much firepower to destroy their carriers, they’ve installed tractor beams to steal your fighter! As a satellite for the enemy, fighting against your home planet, we won’t able to rescue you until next stage! So strap on your helmet, stay sharp, and stay safe, because as you fly farther into galaga territory, more and more ships will try to suicide bomb you once they’ve run out of missiles. And here they come!
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Take the whole family out to experience the thrills and spills of your favorite digital motorcross derby! Or, if you’ve got a pair, strap on a helmet and hop on a bike yourself. Jump the dirt hills, land gracefully, cut off your oppenent and watch him eat mud! There’s a first place trophy and a new truck with your name on it, to the victor goes the spoils. Finish fast enough, you may get to keep the babe in the bikini too! Just don’t overheat or catch your bike on fire – flags drop at 6PM!!!
Perhaps the most insantly addictive of all the arcade narcotics, Pac Man was a smash the second he hit the streets. Unlike all the space shooters and digital sports games before him, Pac Man created his own new genre and appealed to both genders, even before his girlfriend joined him on stage. Although the graphics and motion were not as smooth as his ladies’, there’s something to be said about an original, and Pac Man was king of the eighties! Available as a tabletop as well a standing machine only broadened the exposure, and made him look like a swell guy by allowing his players to sit and relax while enjoying the game. And it’s more convient for smoking and drinking cola while playing! So load up on all favorite addictive substances, the levels never come to end, they just get harder, and you could be be here for all night, days, weeks, maybe thirty or forty years!
Is your child energic, ambitious, over enthusiastic or curious about the wonders of life to the point where it annoys you? The good doctor can help! For a very small price if you’re rich, or the pass of the buck if you’re poor, we can drug your child to incapaciation without lowering their overall level of happiness, honestly. Instead of running around asking questions, they’ll just sit in one spot focusing on their homework, cell phone, or favorite video game instead of you – just like you always wanted! Supremely happy child, supremely content parent, you can exercise and talk to friends and sip your favorite wine in comfort like when you were single again, while appearing as the perfect role model. Worse case scenario, should the short list of side effects add up in the long run – your kid be out of the house by then, and there are pills to cure those too. Call your local doctor today!
Put your camouflage, load up on ammo and strap on the waders – we’re going duck hunting!!! Let man’s best friend ride in the cab of the pick up and stick his head out the window – it’s gonna be a busy day! Whether it’s to the great outdoors or down to the local shooting gallery, we’re sure to bring back some game. Going after two ducks at once is a bit trickier, but no more difficult than clay pigeon shooting. Three shots to kill per round, but don’t miss, or your dog may start laughing! And the urban legend that all the ducks will fly away if you shoot him might just come true if you’re playing at the arcade. Shhhhhhh!!! Here come some ducks!!! Fire!!!
21st century farmer, turned archeologist, you’re about to get your hands dirty! So grab your hardhat, flashlight, pick ax and dynamite. More than just moles await in the tunnels and caverns below your vegetable garden – mutant tomatoes and fire breathing dragons be there! You’ll need the air pump and explosives to destroy the pesky vermin stealing your peppers and strawberries. Bombs away! But beware the falling boulders. Quick! Dig another tunnel! KA-BOOM!!!!
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!!! The incredible paperboy delivers to your house this season! Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor tornadoes will keep this young man down! The paperboy needs a new pair of streamers for his handlebars and some new baseball cards forhis spokes. He’s not intimidated by the neighbor’s snarling dog, watergun-spraying-kid-brot
Take an advanced course in architecture and math by stacking the piles of building blocks into a luxurious palace. Rotate the tetrominoes to fill the gaps, jump levels, speed up the tempo, and score. The Egyptians built the pyamids, the Mogul Empire built the Taj Mahaal, and the Russians built Saint Basil’s Cathedral. The costs are high, but sometimes it takes a construction crew, fleets of dump trucks, and a few monster cranes working in the imagination to become a gaming wizard. It’s a brainbuster to be mastered by those with the highest caliber work ethic and proper perspective. But it’s worth it to sit amonst kings and queens in museums of the onion top skyline, and bask in the splendor of their glory for all eternity.
Have you ever traveled so fast the horizon line sways from left to right? Well now you can!!! Step into the cockpit of the most influencial digital stock car of the classic gaming era and have a spin around the time trial. If you complete it under the cut-off, you’ll qualify for the real racing circuit. There, you’ll compete against show-boaters, prima donnas, and all the big name celebrities for a shot at the cup. But don’t expect to start the race at the pole-sitter position until you earn the spot. If you ain’t first, you’re last, so strap on a helmet, stop acting like a sissy, and hit the gas. It’s go time!!!
What are now “side-scrollers” used to be referred to as “climbing games”, and this was the platformer to end all platformers. Your damsel in distress cries “HELP!!!!” as the most popular gorilla in gaming history throws barrels of laughs your way. Flames from burning oil drums dance at your feet as you ascend the ladders and try not to get steamrolled by the tumbling root-beer cylinders. Even if you beat the first level, you’ll still be jumping from elevators on your way to dodging giant bouncing springs. Kong’s temper grows as you complete the stages, his behavior becoming more erratic and unpredictable, much harder to guess than other arcade super villians of his time. Like an animal!!!! Will you save the princess, or will he make a monkey out of you? Insert coin
You’ll feel like you’re trapped in an underwater gumball machine as you fight off the Hullaballoons in this aquatic arcade adventure. Super sockets try to pop your cartoon dreams and Colleys bounce around the Belugas to blow your chances of winning. But as you delve Bub and Bob deeper down in to the aquarium, Stoners and Willy Whistles bounce around your expanding visions of defeating the almighty Grumple Grommit. So take a deep breath, and dive into Bubble Bobble! Just don’t forget to come up for air!
Step up to the other side of the counter, and see what’s like to play bartender and serve the beers for a change. Tipsy drinkers slur their words hollering for their favorite labels while the dirtier drunkards try not to fall off their barstools. You can make lots of friends if you’re quick at the tap, nice looking, or have decent banter. And if you can refill their mugs fast enough to never let a glass hit the floor, you can pick up some big tips. Call the bouncer for help if you need to cut someone off that won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. And try not to drink on the clock, or have relations with any loose patrons until after closing time. Last call for alcohol!!! Don’t forget – friends never let friend drive drunk.
Put on your armor and helmet, but drop your sword – you’re going jousting! In the future, you won’t be riding horses, but flying ostriches your rulers hatch themselves. Your honor as a knight is at stake, and your performance could determine whether you wind up marrying a beautiful princess in royalty, or a homely hand maiden in squalor. Hold the stick steady, your shield, tight, and brace yourself – one bad decision, and it’s off with your head. You may also become dragon food, or wind up melting to death in a pit of hot lava. So slide in a quarter, and find out whether you’re a noble warrior or a foolish court jester. Let’s joust!
For many people, flipping grade D beef hamburgers is their first job, in addition to being their first video game. You won’t get to work the grill until you’ve degreased the fryers a few times first, but someday you could make chef, maybe even assistant manager! You’ll have to accept starting at minimum wage, but the food is half price, and what’s to stop you from sneaking a bite when the boss isn’t looking? You can pile on extra onions and cheese, or spit on sandwiches of rude customers, or throw pickles at coworkers or give yourself a brain freeze drinking straight from the shake machine. So pull up to the clown speaker to place your order, pay at window one, pick up at window two, dine in, or carry out. Large size is only one dollar extra, so have it your way – I’m lovin’ it!!!