“Technology’s Wild Ride”


“Technology’s Wild Ride” • oil • 40hx30w

My painting covers a variety of ideas about the growth of technology in the 21st century. The characters and their props in this painting explore the gadgetry and the social effects of Technology’s Wild Ride.

WARNING: This ride progresses at an alarming rate, if you choose to take the “chicken exit”, here is a playlist with songs that inspired the painting. For fun, via the technology of your choice, you can listen to it instead of reading this post…

  1. Wikipedia: The song “TVC-15” by David Bowie
  2. YouTube: “Nellie the Elephant” by the Toy Dolls
  3. Download the song, “Jungle Boogie” by Kool and the Gang

Ok, for those brave enough to buckle up, hold on to your hats!

Player 1

My son, who is our family computer expert, posed for this image. He put up with his mom and wore the paper hat I folded up from the Business section of the paper. The watch and phone are, as you know, the new normal. While thinking up the concept, I read an article in Time magazine about virtual reality. This gave me the idea that it would be funny to take a selfie, while wearing the featured prototype glasses.


His t-shirt references an old Pong game. The monitors were deep blue/black. The game was rendered in white graphics. As a kid who played Pong, I had the choice of being Player 1 or Player 2 at the start of the game. The competition to be Player 1 in the world of Technology and Business is fierce. In fact, it’s a jungle out there. (Go to Playlist, choose “Jungle Boogie”)

Nellie the Elephant

I was playing with the idea that Technology is Big. And I have also been working on a digital series of my paintings called, “Circus Real Surreal”, which is a transformation of my oil paintings into circus posters. Here is what I asked myself:

Q: What is big and involved in a circus past or present?

A: Elephants. (Note: No virtual elephants were harmed in the creation of this painting.)

As a kid, I was also listening to music while playing video games. One such song, circa 1980, was called, “Nellie the Elephant” by the Toy Dolls. It is based on a British nursery song about an intelligent circus elephant who takes the crowd by storm and then runs away from the circus. I feel that technology changes at an almost runaway rate! (Go to Playlist, choose “Nellie the Elephant”)

Nellie’s Bling and Things

I wanted Nellie to visually communicate aspects of technology. The first idea I had was to compose Nellie with circuits. Circuits are quite mesmerizing to look at. When I researched Asian elephants I found that elephants are sometimes decorated with chalk for ceremonies in India. There are some beautiful designs and extravagantly colorful elephants to behold in a Google search. This was my inspiration for applying the circuits on Nellie. She also sports a joystick and a silicon chip on her headdress.


Pixelonmic Transitions: From Bowie to Binary

Early on in the painting process I decided to pixelate the tip of Nellie’s trunk. Pixels are something a large part of the population is looking at daily. They are a big part of our lives, and communication. A visual transmission can influence society to action.

During the creation of this painting singer/songwriter David Bowie passed away. Through the internet I was able to re-connect with some of his songs I had remembered. One song I always liked was “TVC-15”. I was unclear on the meaning and looked it up. The song plays with the idea that the singer’s girlfriend has jumped into his TV set (the model being the TVC-15) and he is wondering if he should go in and get her. Perfect!

The chorus is: Transition, Transmission. I thought the song and words were appropriate for the Technology age. The word “Transition” appears in my painting written in binary code on the underside of Nellie’s trunk. (Go to Playlist, choose “TVC-15”)

Infophilic Transmissions: Privacy Settings


The ID tag and the elephant wrinkle/ large finger print behind it are a reference to the on going question of who has access to your information. During the creation of this painting, national security vs. consumer privacy became a very big issue.

Technology has far reaching effects on society. Symbolically, I felt that the leaves with their radiating pattern and the umbrella, which also radiates out was an abstract way to transmit that feeling to you.

I hope you enjoyed “Technology’s Wild Ride.” It is now safe to unbuckle your seat belt and exit this screen.








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