TONY

ASTONE

BirthBay    98X78"  Acrylic and india ink on Canvas  (hover and scroll to zoom)

I used to work at Harmonix, the company behind the Guitar Hero and Rockband series of games.  While working on the Beatles Rockband, “Birthday” was one of our test songs for triggering special effects in the game.  As a result there was a 2 week period in which I heard it at least 40 times a day, everyday.  I love the beatles, but I do not love that song.  In order to retain my sanity I changed the lyrics in my head.  Thus the words became “BirthBay”  and from there this painting eventually emerged.

 

A superbly fascist totalitarian society, run by a woman few have ever seen, referred to as “Dear Mother.” The men in this society have been relegated to the lowest levels of the structure; the few who are not outright owned property still lead a depraved subsistent lifestyle.

Her army of helpers are the “good little boys”, genetically cloned to obey all of Dear Mother’s demands. Designed to have a blonde bowl cut, yet be simultaneously balding, they are gentle and agreeable, no matter how treated.  Their only instinctive urge is to please the Dear Mother and similarly dressed operatives named the “Soul Controllers.” The “Soul Controllers”  make up “The Spiritual Arm” of the government, with the Army making up “The Armed Arm” of the government. For as Dear Mother says, “Governments, like loving mothers, should have two arms.”

 

 

 

Endless war has made the sustainability of a population manufactured for conflict a top priority. Hence, women not part of the “in” crowd are forced to be in a near constant state of pregnancy.

They come to what is advertised as a place of great cultural and spiritual importance. “Birthing and Baptism in the blood of the sisters who came before you” is sold as a right of passage. In reality it is just a large rancid pool next to a company's warehouse, filled with patriotic propaganda.

Once born, the infants are put into Birthee Inc. Nurture-Warrior Model-3100. The robot provides all of the automated brain training and life sustainability roles. The women return to their jobs, soon to get impregnated again. The infants are chemically treated by the Nurture-Warrior bots so they do not outgrow their shells, and they become so efficient that by age 5 the incubated children have the knowledge and brain function adequate enough to take the Nurture-Warrior bot into battle.

In the background we see a smattering of overly symbolic monuments, materialist billboards, and ads for museum exhibitions.