Paintings of an Astronaut Exploring the Strangest Planet of Them All: Earth

Illustration for article titled Paintings of an Astronaut Exploring the Strangest Planet of Them All: Earth

The NASA astronaut who stars in Scott Listfield's ever-growing series of paintings explores a world much like our own, but with a fantastical twist. It's a planet Earth where crop circles appear in the streets, where Star Wars droids shill for Coca-Cola, where every pop culture apocalypse is happening at the same time.

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In his artist's statement, Listfield explains that, "The astronaut in my paintings is simply here to explore the present." It's a present into which our science fictional ideas of the future are always intruding, so that Listfield juxtaposes very realistic scenes of the world with fantastical bits of popular culture, casting the astronaut as silent observer. With his or her face obscured by the helmet, we can impose our own reactions on the astronaut. Is the astronaut bemused? Delighted? Horrified? Or just worried about where they parked Optimus Prime?

Listfield has been working on his astronaut paintings since 1999, and has amassed a massive collection. You can see the rest at Astronaut Dinosaur and buy prints through Society6.

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Astronaut Dinosaur [via mashKULTURE]

Illustration for article titled Paintings of an Astronaut Exploring the Strangest Planet of Them All: Earth
Illustration for article titled Paintings of an Astronaut Exploring the Strangest Planet of Them All: Earth
Illustration for article titled Paintings of an Astronaut Exploring the Strangest Planet of Them All: Earth
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Illustration for article titled Paintings of an Astronaut Exploring the Strangest Planet of Them All: Earth
Illustration for article titled Paintings of an Astronaut Exploring the Strangest Planet of Them All: Earth
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DISCUSSION

Q: Why is he wearing a space suit?

A: Because he can't breathe the atmosphere

Q: If he can't breathe the atmosphere, why is he not wearing an oxygen tank? (that suit design received a special oxygen/nitrogen mix from tanks in the space capsule, via hoses; it was really more of a pressure suit than a space suit, as it was not designed to be exposed directly to space; it IS pretty air tight, tho', so he'd suffocate pretty quickly without a fresh supply of air)

A: I have no idea. The artist didn't think it through.

Q: What's the point then?

A: Again, I have no idea.