I was really interested in the space art done by artist Ludek Pesek. He takes the detailed images of the topography transmitted by a spacecraft and then paints realistic landscapes of space and planets. His work looks so realistic, you could mistake it for a picture. His best work are the series of i of Mars. Most of his works are of locations that have not been landed on. However, future landers will prove that his work is so accurate.
“A subject of contention in the astronomical community was the structure of Saturn’s rings. The apparently extreme thinness of the rings led the astronomer Gerard Kuiper to suggest that the particles composing the rings would be consistently of a few decimetres in size and elongated in shape, little dispersed and aligned perpendicularly to their orbital plane. Pesek could not accept that “unnatural” vision and favoured another view of more loosely and randomly distributed chunks of ice having a wide range of sizes. Pesek’s view was subsequently proved right.”
His works are found mainly at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Most of his pieces are a combination of Space, the Moon, and Earth.
Pesek also contributed to the space art projects done by a group called Ars Astronautica. My favorite project by them is the Cosmic Dancer sculpture which is a painted geometric form made out of welded aluminum tubing measuring approximately 35 x 35 x 40 centimeters and weighing exactly one kilogram.
The purpose of the project was to investigate the properties of sculpture in zero gravity and to examine the integration of art into a space habitat environment.
“The Cosmic Dancer sculpture was sent to the Mir space station on May 22, 1993 and it was never returned to Earth. It is assumed that the sculpture was on-board the Mir when it was de-orbited in March 2001.”
Art and science need to come together more often. Pesek’s work has shown people what it is like to be in space by his realistic paintings, you feel as if you are there. Space has such beautiful landscapes for art that should be shown more often We are so used to seeing the world from Earth, and we need to see the world outside of Earth , from a different perspective. Looking at Earth from space could open up so many productive ideas from people from both the art side and science.