Did anyone ever painted a computer?

Ridiculous as it may seem, I was not able to find any clues on the internet, let alone pictures.

By painting I assume oil on canvas in more-or-less realistic style, and computer could be anything from ENIAC to a modern-day laptop; it could be a centrepiece of a painting or just an object in still life.

So: did any painter (preferably a prominent one) ever painted a computer just as they were painting wooden ships two centuries ago?

Sure (it would be quite unlikely to never have happened).

A quick Google image search turned up this (spoilered to meet the two-click rule, as it contains a painted rendering of a breast):

Science Fiction paperbacks and also comic books from the 1950s onwards had plenty of painted covers featuring computers.

One of my favorites is the cover of Gold Key’s **Magnus, Robot Fighter ** #1:


The computer incorporates human brains. It’s a sorta Matrix-like image made almost 40 years before that film.
If you’re asking if “serious”, non-commercial artists have done so, then I feel quite certain they have – computers have been a Fact Of Life since the 1940s. But I can’t think of any such paintings right now.

Thanks for that; exactly what I was searching for.

Which keywords you used for a Google search? No matter what I try, the search results always end up with “computer-generated art” or some such.

What do the Teeming Millions think about this picture of an IBM System 360? Do you think it’s a photograph or a painting?

Picture from this web page which has a whole bunch of similar pictures.

What do y’all think? Paintings or photographs?

(The text there at one point at least, calls them photographs.)

Found this, purportedly a scanned image of a psychedelic painting of an Apple II computer.

If OP is willing to lower his standards to include portraits of computers in less-rather-than-more realistic style, we have these fanciful computers by (who else?) Boris Artzybasheff! (Who here remembers Boris Artzybasheff?)


The Computer In Society TIME Magazine Cover Story, April 2, 1965, cover art by Artzybasheff.

(If you like those, here’s a gallery of other mechanical devices, not computers (although some are hard to tell) by Artzybasheff.)

Note: That link to “Machinalia” in the above post is acting weird. I’ve tried clicking on it myself several times in the last few minutes, and sometimes the intended picture comes up and sometimes not.

If you’re having trouble, try cut-and-pasting the URL to your browser’s address bar in a new tab and see if that makes any difference.

I used to do large paintings for a friend’s business that were basically icons. Wide, sloppy black outlines over random areas of color.

Anyhow, one was a laptop. Because the “icons” showed the range of services. It was a “New Tech” company, which back in those days meant I was painting a powerbook and a Syquest drive and a cursor and a Pointing Internet Finger… and a floppy disk.

That was Don Weller. He did a lot in that style, including magazine covers from Time to High Times. Worked in advertising a lot, and a few of us MAY have aped his style (way back in our Nehru Jacket With The Zodiac Belt Buckle days).

Does this count as a computer? http://shhome.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/transfer-of-knowledge.jpg :confused:

Found among http://singularityhub.com/2012/10/15/19th-century-french-artists-predicted-the-world-of-the-future-in-this-series-of-postcards/

I can’t remember exactly, but It wasn’t very simple.

I started off with generic ‘paintings of computers’, which yielded not much, so I narrowed down with stuff like ‘painting of laptop’ - still not much, but I think I found this one with a search that specifically included the imac brand

I need three things: love, friendship and books. However, the three are interlinked! Hot love can enrich the contents of the book, the book is one of the most faithful friends.

Home is where the heart is: FIFA 16 Coins

Here’s one.

“Robert Tinney’s work was imaginative, technically superb (he is a master of the airbrush)”



If you look back through the archives of computer magazines, you’ll probably find a ton. For example, the first cover on this page:

There are some beautiful works above (thanks Senegoid for that Machinalia link, absolutely gorgeous!) but most of them are illustrations rather than oil/gouache/acryilic on canvas/wood panel/whatever.

(There’s of course a number of magazine covers, and even if they are ordered from the publishing houses rather than “paintings for painting’s sake”, I won’t trivialize the art itself.)

Found one more if anyone is interested.

So it seems there are indeed paintings of computer-related hardware, but only a handful, if this thread is of any measure.

Interesting question! Thanks for posing it. I’m an art enthusiast, and off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of ever seeing one.

Anyway, coincidentally, I came across this here by a Canadian photorealist painter, William Fisk.

Warning - if you go poking round his website, there are very much NSFW pictures (pornorealist - if that’s a term!) elsewhere, but my link is safe.

I wonder if anyone has any opinion of those pics of old IBM systems that I linked in Post #5? Those pics all look very realistic, like photos, although some of them don’t quite look real to me, but I can’t really tell. I thought at least some of those images looked like quite-realistic paintings.

Consider this pic for another example. Is that a photo or a painting? Look at the console on that computer. Does that look like a photo?

Well Don Weller is no 2 bit artist ! Here’s another 8 bit.