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Don Dixon is a Fellow and co-founder of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA). His artwork has been featured on the covers of Scientific American, Astronomy, Sky and Telescope, Bild der Wissenschaft, and dozens of books, ranging from physics compendiums to science fiction novels.His painting Red Mars, cover painting for the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's award winning trilogy, rode the Phoenix spacecraft to a successful landing in the arctic region of the Red Planet in 2008 as part of a digital 'Martian Library.' Since 1991 he has served as Art Director at Griffith Observatory, high atop Mount Hollywood, where he directed and co-authored the acclaimed full-dome animated film Centered in the Universe. He has been Artist Guest of Honor at several science fiction conventions and has exhibited in Oslo, Berlin, and Washington, D.C.
Since the late 1990's, his scientific illustrations have been created digitally on a Mac computer. His private commissions and murals are executed with oil paints on canvas or Masonite panel. He lists van Gogh, Vermeer, Albert Bierstadt and Edmund Dulac among his favorite artists. He believes our venture into space is a natural response to a self-organizing principle at work in the universe and wants to share his sense of awe at nature's beauty, logic, and mystery.
'Our reaction to the strangeness of the extraterrestrial environment serves as a metaphor for the existential rebellion of our primitive natures as we are forced to contend with a reality that demands pure rationality. The metal and plastic technology that we use to explore space symbolizes our alienation from the natural, organic world of our ancestors.The terror of this lifeless realm, however, is also suffused with beauty, and this is part of the appeal of the astronomical art genre. The viewer can gaze upon airless landscapes that are bereft of any earthly softness as an artist might contemplate a bare canvas: a place of potential, waiting patiently to be shaped or explored by human hands and minds. We project ourselves into these worlds, safely experiencing, for a time, the cosmic loneliness as we journey, encased in our spaceships of bone, from a forgotten origin to a problematic future.'
You can seen more of Don's art at cosmographica.com