This painting is ripped from today’s headlines. NASA recently released a story about the zinnia grown on the International Space Station under the watchful eyes of the Veg-01 team. and it got me thinking about what that might have looked like if it weren’t overseen by humans. In this painting I have depicted the moment that the robot discovered the zinnia and drew it closer for examination. The trail of debris coming from the plant pillow, to his hand and beyond form a purposeful “?”. A symbol representing his curiosity.
He pulled the flower from its protective pillow because it was the same color as him and he wanted to see exactly what it might be. Little did he know that the flower would wilt and go limp due to the heat released from his head lamp face. His posture expresses the fact that he feels a bit remorseful, and the numbers on his speedometer spell out “OOPS” when turned upside down.
His body is made from a vintage Harley Davidson gas tank, his hips from a rusted coffee can. In buttons pushed on the console have warning stickers around the “B” and the “17”, indicating they should not be pushed at the same time. I chose this sequence in particular because of an Olivia Newton John song entitled “Please Mister Please (don’t play B17)” that played every ten minutes on the radio when I was a kid. I figured it went well with painting #17, because if NASA had known what the robot would do when investigating the plant, they would have said “Please Robot Please!”