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ASTROArts Blog from Andrew Fazekas

Space Art: Paint or Pixels?

Title: Ocean of Space by David A. Hardy (acrylics on canvas; from the private collection of M.C.Turner) Caption: Here we see the earthlike planet of a star far beyond our own Milky Way. Above its ocean the sky is dominated by the great pinwheel of another spiral galaxy, and while the mountains are lit by a setting reddish star, a blue companion is rising on the horizon. When discussing astronomical art it is important to understand what it is – and is not. For instance, it is not science fiction; although there is an overlap, science fiction depends much more upon the imagination than on science fact. The term ‘space art’ is also sometimes used to describe this genre; there is no real difference, except that the latter term usually encompasses art that includes hardware (spacecraft, bases, rovers and other vehicles) and figures such as astronauts, while ‘astronomical art’ is more likely to depict purely landscapes and/or objects in space, such as planets, moons, stars, galaxies, nebulae, etc. Most (though of course, not all – there are a very few exceptions!) artists who produce this type of work are members of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA). Not all of these are realists, and some produce work which is impressionistic, expressionistic, abstract, symbolic or surreal; as I said in my last article, most of the Russian artists who attended our workshops in 1988 and 1999 come into this category, but others, like cosmonaut Alexei Leonov and Andrei Sokolov, paint in a realistic style. The... Read More..