1970s NASA Paintings

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What better way to kickstart your week than with Don Davis' dreamy fictive paintings of outer space?

There aren’t many artists invited to step inside the esteemed NASA Ames Research Center to conjure magnificent painterly visions of what life in outer space might look like – but then artist Don Davis is not like other image-makers. 

Driven by his enduring passion for depicting vast landscapes of the universe, Davis was hired as an illustrator for the Astrogeology branch at the US Geological Survey at the age of 16, and then onto the holy grail of planetary research, the NASA Ames Research Center, shortly afterwards. Over the course of the 1970s NASA Ames carried out three space colony summer studies, during which time Davis was invited by the organisation to create artistic interpretations of the researchers’ concepts.

The resulting paintings, of which there are several collections, are a joyous collision of the factual with the fantastical. Vast, sprawling suburban landscapes line space shuttles and hollowed-out asteroids, while groups of picnicking guests or holidaymakers taking a swim are juxtaposed against a star-studded backdrop of galaxies and neighbouring solar systems. It’s an idyllic imagining of what life in other galaxies might look like, and it’s sure to bring a dreamy new dimension to your week. 

Happy Monday! #AnOtherHappyMonday