David A. Hardy
Having illustrated his first book in 1954, David
Hardy owns the distinction of being the longest established space
artist on the planet.
Inspired by American master Chesley Bonestell and
Britain's Ralph Smith, Hardy fine-tuned his illustrating techniques
painting boxes of chocolates in his job working for Cadbury near his
home in England. And he started freelancing in 1965 after a missed
opportunity to work on the classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
then, Hardy has churned out countless works of astronomical art for
theater productions, movies, books and magazines. He's also produced
several books himself, including the novel Aurora and Hardyware: The
Art of David A. Hardy, a 128-page retrospective of his work. His latest
book is a highly praised collabortation with famed astronomer Sir
Patrick Moore called Futures: 50 Years in Space.
In earthly matters, Hardy has a passion for
which began when he needed transportation to get across town to peer
through a friend's telescope. A pal had a motorbike, and he braved
riding on the back of it rather than taking the dreaded crosstown bus.
After a stint in the Royal Air Force, Hardy got his own motorcycle and
continued to ride them -- apparently including one road trip on a
distant moon -- until reluctantly giving up the pleasure a few years
Hardy's work is owned and praised by famed science
fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, and he was a favorite of the late
great sci fi legends Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan. He currently serves
as a vice president of the IAAA, the space artists guild.
"David Hardy's space art is unique," says rock
Brian May, former Queen guitarist and renowned astronomy buff. "He
creates his own special kind of virtual reality -- through his
astounding vision and technique we glimpse landscapes in worlds where
man has never set foot."
landing on the
moon is reminiscent of Chesley Bonestell's work. Actually, it's a
digital/paint hybrid designed to recreate 1950s-style space art. It's
one of a series, first revealed at Worldcon in Boston in 2004.
The bright star
visible with binoculars toward the constellation of Puppis, was already
known to be a star like our Sun. Now a planet with twice Jupiter's mass
has been discovered in a nearly circular orbit around it at
approximately half the orbital distance of Jupiter, suggesting the
possibility that habitable Earth-type planets may be orbiting further
Designed as the
his book Visions of Space, this is a self-portait of Hardy painting on
the Jovian moon of Io. Of course, there are many reasons why this would
be impossible in real life, but anything is possible in the fantastic
universe of space art!
This print has proven to be
Hardy's most popular. It shows an imaginary gas giant seen from its
jagged moon, with a spacecraft ascending.
To see more of Hardy's timeless art, take the rocket for a ride to
Catch a ride on the
flying saucer back
to the Outer Space Art Gallery homepage