Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Pinball........

Well, as many of you know, I have a show coming up in September. It is called "Arcade" and I am currently working up the title piece. Here is the artist statement for this show:
"The origins of pinball can be traced back as far as the 15th century but really had their hayday in the 50’s-70’s. During this time they were a reflection of what was happening in society. Arcade games, through entertainment, dealt with issues related to the Cold War, space exploration and even feminism. The physical look of the pinball machine has always been about spectacle. The flashing lights, the sounds and sights of extraordinary worlds have an incredible and ageless appeal. 
Simply put, the arcade game is social commentary wrapped up in spectacular and entertaining package. It is this realization that has led me to the concept of re-creating arcade games as art to be viewed within a gallery setting. I want to use the visual appeal of the spectacle to draw attention to the truths of the present. As an artist, I am drawn to the idea of education though entertainment. What better way to start a conversation about society than through the pop culture phenomenon of the pinball machine?
Each work of art is designed, built and painted by hand and uses materials that have been repurposed. This clever use of recycled materials adds an additional environmental depth to each piece. Each of the art-pieces, like the games they emulate, is meant to both entertain and inform the viewer."
Ok....I know what you are thinking....what a long statement - well, I am aiming for 500 words here folks. You should feel fortunate that I am not employing the 'very very very very" approach to filling out my word minimum! Here are pictures of the pinball works I have completed to date:
This particular Pinball Machine is called "Space Voyage". It is made3 of found objects and handmade and painted by yours truly. It has my rollerblade wheels, scrap lumber, pieces from a vintage travel bingo game. It is made on wood and it lights up like crazy!! It took me just shy of a month from the first drawing to the final product. It was a LOT of trial and error, but the end result is STUNNING (if I do say so myself)
The other completed Pinball machine was meant to look like the top of the pinball machine or the 'back glass'. I entered this piece into the "Queen" Competition at The Artist Project in Toronto. I did not win, but that is ok! It is super all the little descriptive words!!
I will show you the newest in progress tomorrow!


  1. I've always considered pinball machines to be pieces of art, and sometimes even social commentary, as well as being exciting kinetic amusements...they were a constant inspiration for Art class assignments throughout my school years. I recall making a tiny table from clay in elementary, and reproducing a "nude robot vs. mechanical snake" header in high school - but I've since forgotten the game's name. "Cobra", perhaps?

    I really love your old-fashioned table surface and backglass; I thought they were actual parts of vintage machines at first. It makes me imagine how they would play if they were real. That aside, the mid-20th-century aesthetics really tickle my fancy - they look just great. And you made them from found objects and castoffs! I always admire new things fashioned from old (large and small "hacks", as it were), no matter if they're practical and useful, or for "fun" decor or as props. A great imagination can transform "junk" into fully repurposed and immensely cool "maker" things, and you've definitely shown you have both the imagination and the skills.

    Again, my compliments on your awesome work!

  2. Thanks Sean!! I agree the pinball machine is awesome WAAAAY beyond its function!! I love it when someone really "GETS" what I am doing with my art. Thanks so much for the validation! I really appreciate it!!! Cheers! ~Rob