Friday, May 26, 2006

Chesley Bonestell knew how to paint. And how to party.


So there's this artist named Chesley Bonestell. At least there was, because he's dead now. But he was the guy who in the 1940's and 50's did all the realistic paintings of outer space and other planets that influenced sci-fi authors, spurred on NASA and pretty much informed the public's and Hollywood's perception of what outer space must look like. A selection from his biography sums it up nicely:

"The realism of the artwork convinced an entire generation of post-World War II readers that spaceflight was possible in their lifetime. There are countless professional aerospace engineers and scientists working today who decided their careers when they saw Bonestell's book "The Conquest of Space" when they were only eight or ten years old—such as Carl Sagan, who said he didn’t know what other worlds
looked like until he saw Bonestell’s paintings of the solar system."

He also produced matte paintings for movies (large scale paintings of backgrounds vistas, done in the days before CGI) and murals for museums. A pretty interesting life, one would say.

So I was clicking around on his website the other day, and found something amusing. To go there, click here. Click on his biography and read about him a bit. Then click on the gallery section, and check out his work (The space paintings start appearing on page 3 or 4). Then click on the section titled The "Bonestell" and get ready to have yourself a Bonestell Party.

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Sounds like someone needs one of those cocktails

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