Tuesday, August 8, 2017

BEAUTY: Painting--Scott Listfield

Despite the fact that painter Scott Listfield's Artist Statement emphasizes the present...

"I paint astronauts and, sometimes, dinosaurs.

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in 1968, well before I was born, so I have no firsthand knowledge of how it was received. I don’t know if people really believed we'd be living in space in 2001, if we'd have robot butlers and flying cars, geodesic lunar homes, and genetically reconstituted dinosaurs helping or eating us. But from Lost in Space to the Jetsons to Jurassic Park, it seems that popular culture has fostered this space-age perception of the future. Generations raised on these TV shows, movies, comic books, and novels are now grown and living in a future filled with mini vans, Starbucks, iPads, and Hip Hop videos. In many ways, the year 2001 failed to live up to expectations. And yet the world today is peculiar in ways unimagined in 1957, when Sputnik was launched, or in 1968, when 2001 was released, or even in 1994, at the dawn of the internet. The present is in fact a very unusual place, and it's strangest in the ubiquity of things we take for granted.

The astronaut in my paintings is simply here to explore the present."

...it sure feels like his narratives are post-apocalyptic (is it after a war? after a biological pandemic?). They feel like the last scene of the original "Planet of the Apes" film. A swamp has overtaken a Waffle House, a jungle has overgrown a Starbuck's, there's only a desert where there once was an airport, and The Monster's "Wall" has fallen, as all walls will (and it hasn't even been built yet).

Top to bottom: Animal Style; Billions and Billions; Cave Signs; Empty Palace; Krispy Kreme; LAX; Make America Again; Starbucks; The Bridge; Traffic; Underground; Waffle House


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