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It was the mid-sixties and the British Invasion was in full swing, with the Beatles dominating the charts. The cultural landscape was shifting, with the rise of mini-skirts, Twiggy and bee-hive hairstyles, and the emergence of flower children and hippies in old Volkswagen buses. This painting captures a snapshot of that time, with a nostalgic tone.
The painting depicts a young graduate taking her new Mustang for a spin with a friend. They are getting a lot of attention from the guys in a Super Sport Chevelle. The scene is set on September 9th, 1968, a significant date as it was the night before the debut of Star Trek on NBC. The artist has included some Trek trivia, with the license plate number on the classic '64.5 Mustang being NCC-1701, the insignia for the starship Enterprise. Additionally, Spock can be seen paying his bill for a classic Shelton's Diner meal.
The artist notes that while Star Trek was a great space fantasy, the real space adventure was just getting off the ground. This is reflected in the license plate number on the Chevelle, NAA-316, which honors the quest for space exploration. On March 16th, 1968, astronaut Neil Armstrong demonstrated his cool courage and quick thinking when the Gemini spacecraft he was testing went out of control. His ability to "save the day" made him the selection for the first man on the moon on July 20th, 1969.
The painting also captures the mix of jukebox hits that were popular at the time, including "Wild Thing," "Strangers in the Night," "The Ballad of the Green Berets," and "Hanky Panky." The Rolling Stones had "Paint it Black" while the Four Tops sang "Reach Out I'll Be There." Both groups are still around today, a testament to the enduring appeal of the music of that era.
In conclusion, the painting is a nostalgic look back at a defining moment in history, capturing the cultural and musical trends of the mid-sixties, as well as the excitement and optimism surrounding the space race. It is a nostalgic tribute to the classic cars, music, and TV shows of the era, and a salute to the pioneering spirit of those who ventured into the unknown.
Description by the Artist
Watch this video presentation by the artist describing the painting process, the research, and the hidden trivia in the painting.
The original painting is 36x24" on masonite panel, completed in 1995.
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