Monday, December 18, 2006


I realize there is more to say about fruit slot machines. The Wiz reminded me that my real passion for the fruit slot machines comes from this picture on the left.

It is my rendering of the “cherries” icon on the reels of a 1970’s slot machine. Not the digital television slots like today. These were actually spinning mechanical reels, activated by the pull of a handle, that locked into place displaying pictures in a window. To me this picture of the cherries is a beautiful historic graphic that deserves to be interpreted as art.

I like the line and the color of this picture. The crimson red of the cherry orbs compliments the green jagged leaves and the brownish red tree limb. The lighting on the cherries evokes a fresh clean feeling. This could be a Christmas ornament if not used as a gambling pip first.

For anyone who has ever played one of these slot machines the emotion is subliminal. The art itself continues to be associated with a pleasant feeling. It is integral to winning. In the left most position of the slot machine these cherries would pay the player even money. None of the other fruit pictures paid in that position unless all three were the same. On some machines triple cherries paid more than any other three of a kind. So every time you see this graphic on the slot machine it associated with a win.

Now I stress that the drawing is my artwork for legal reasons only. By displaying my own artwork I don’t have to get permission nor pay a fee. And I don’t have to give credit, only take it.

I don’t know who designed the first graphics for those first machines. There are many different versions of slot machine cherries, but this design is one of the oldest and for me the best. It was this summer in Cambridge where I had the time and the muse to create my own slot machine cherries. I researched several styles on the internet and duplicated this one. I’m glad I have this picture now. For me it will continue to bring back memories of a time in Las Vegas that doesn’t exist anymore. Of course the kid who experienced that time in Las Vegas doesn’t exist anymore either.
As you were,
Jay

1 comment:

the other one said...

This is a beautiful piece of art. It's interesting you connect your memory of the cherries to something very pleasant and nostalgic I can see why it was chosen for use in slot machines. There is something very alluring about the cherry. Not only does it represent passion, love and beauty but also a loss of innocence.

You mentioned it brought back to mind a time in Vegas (and a "kid") that doesn't exist anymore. I'd like to think of it as a reminder to keep the beauty and passion alive in our lives and to never lose sight of that child-like wonder and joy that resides in all of us. It's perfect as an affirmation to bring in the New Year!