Space Art through the Ages

Space Stories
Spacefield II

Spacefield II
Victor Raphael
Spacefield II
1996
29 x 35 1/2 in.
iris on canvas with metal leaf

Like many boys, Los Angeles artist Victor Raphael had dreams of becoming an astronaut, and those dreams inspired his art.

Some artists create scientifically accurate paintings that could be photographs. Raphael's work is different—it doesn't show you things exactly as they appear.

What do you think of when you look at Spacefield II? Maybe it's like being in a rocket ship rushing through a cloud of asteroids? Perhaps racing toward a cluster of galaxies seen at a great distance? Zipping through the rings of Saturn?

For his Spacefield series, Raphael starts with NASA photographs such as Hubble Space Telescope pictures and other astronomical images. He re-photographs or scans them and then adds touches of gold leaf or other materials to the new images. Notes the artist: "It is important to recognize that these [NASA photographs] are new images, new imagery unique to our time. The reality is that we are only a small part of the universe, which is a humbling thought. It's good for us to maintain that humble perspective."



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All artwork ©Victor Raphael