PULP COVER FRIDAY PRESENTS THE FATHER OF MODERN SPACE ART
We’re getting a little off topic here, since Chesley Bonestell (1888-1986) never worked for an actual pulp magazine. But why quibble? He was, according to wikipedia, the Father of Modern Space Art. He made his bones working for LIFE magazine, and with people like Willey Ley and Werner von Braun, one of our most valuable pieces of war loot, and such-like serious-minded folks. In the course of his fairly detailed wiki bio, we find one sentence dealing with his work in the genre magazines: “In the 1950’s, Bonestell painted cover illustrations for science fiction magazines including the MAGAZINE OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY and GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION.”
In fact, his covers continued to appear well into the 2000’s.
Besides the spread in LIFE (the most noted of his paintings — Saturn Seen From Titan — is presented here as the first image, and may be my favorite of the bunch) and the fancy-schmancy nonfiction books of Ley and von Braun, Bonestell also did special effects art for such movies as DESTINATION MOON, WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, CONQUEST OF SPACE, and the immortal cinemagraphic classic, CAT-WOMEN OF THE MOON.
I will admit that though I like his art, I find it kind of passionless, as can be the case with most landscape art. Although many of the pieces are evocative, I can’t get too worked up about them.
Caio, from Reno.
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