The initial idea for my painting started quite some time ago, when I was thinking about one of my favorite bands: Rage Against the Machine. Although Rage Against the Machine is a very political band, my original idea for the painting was not a all political. The painting was going to be about how irritating it is when vending machine snacks get stuck. While the idea of "Stuck Snacks" is amusing, it just didn't seem to have enough "Rage". I wanted more RAGE!
Then one day it hit me: Money in Politics. Yes, that's the topic.
Ever since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision opened the door to Super PACs, I've been pretty pissed off about unlimited money in politics. Even Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, who disagree on mostly everything, agree that there's too much money in politics. I then decided to use the vending machine concept for the buying of politicians.
Why nacho cheese chips? Well, nacho cheese chips are simply delicious.
Who is Rage Against the Machine?
Rage Against the Machine is a Los Angeles rap-rock band that launched in the early 90's. When deciding what RATM video to post, I re-watched "Testify". I have not watched that video in YEARS. I noticed all the "money in politics" references they had, and thought it was the one to post. Check it out.
Meet the Man Behind the Hand
I paint from reference photos, and I wanted a photo of a man's hand hitting a vending machine. My good friend Joel Geist had moved to Las Vegas. During a visit, we went to the Double Down Saloon where I took the photo of Joel "pretend" hitting their vending machine. (I highly recommend going if you want something different and off the strip).
Joel is a very talented musician, producer, videographer, and director. He was also the bass player and "Bachelor #3" in a very funny video called "Just for One Night" back when he had long hair and mustache. I'm an extra in the video back when I was a bit thinner and younger. If you blink, you may miss me.