FEATURED ARTIST: Don White
Avid daydreamer, self proclaimed “outer space geek” and mixed media artist, Don White has had a fascination with interstellar travel and science fiction since childhood which is brought to life in his fantasied and somewhat psychedelic spacescapes. His body of work explores the ‘unknown’, anchored in a place between reality and speculation when is comes to the outer space, and seeks to “give imaginary glimpses of faraway places.” Although he also identifies himself as a ‘possible introvert’, there is no question Don White’s art ignites the imagination and takes on a far more extrospective approach to the world which is why it’s no surprise some of his artwork is currently on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. As our first Featured Artist specializing in “Space art”, we’re over the moon (pun intended) to finally bring a dazzling, galactic gallery to your TV screens which features highlights from Don White’s stellar portfolio.
As a relatively new and emerging genre, “Space art” (also referred to as “Astronomical art”) incorporates a variety of formats and styles from Realist paintings and Impressionist watercolors to industrial sculpture and abstract digital art – or sometimes a mix of it all. White’s approach is indeed one such amalgamation with a majority of his pieces created by layering acrylic paints, alcohol inks, gel pens, and watercolors on thick, heat-pressed watercolor paper. What materializes from these combinations are then digitally filtered and converted into a high-resolution file.
Though Space art is relatively new to the art world, references to astronomy in art can be traced back as early as 1303 with Giotto di Bondone’s Adoration of the Magi. The painting features a fiery object with an unmistakeable ‘tail’ and is believed by many to be a depiction of Halley’s Comet which passed over Italy in 1301 rather than the Star of Bethlehem usually included in nativity scenes. In the centuries that followed, space-inspired art remained limited to night skies and shooting stars until the late 1800s when technology began to improve and the first figurations of planets began to appear in illustrations by astronomers and artists.
In comparison to art previously inspired by astronomy and the night sky as seen with the naked eye, Space art is more sophisticated in that it explores forms and scenes from outer space inspired by continual advancements in science and the imaging captured through NASA satellites and telescopes. Originally used as a means for depicting observations, this new genre has been evolving beyond what is seen and known into one of modern artistic expression based on the latest space discoveries and an appreciation of the vast and infinite nature of the Universe. As a member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists, White has stated that while inspiring people’s imaginations through his work is one goal of his, he also hopes it will spark more discussion on space travel and venturing further into planets and other worlds both known and unknown.
It was something Dr. Carl Sagan wrote that started a flood of ideas in my brain – he said: “Since in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space – every surviving civilization must become spacefaring. Not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable – staying alive. If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.”
You can now visually venture to other worlds with the new Don White gallery now streaming on Artcast and appreciate the “art dreamer’s” clever use of planet surface textures which create surreal, dreamlike spacescapes that teeter between figuration and abstraction. Below are a few of the gallery’s highlights that are sure to take your mind to infinity and beyond.
Stream the Space art of Don White in addition to other innovative collections from Artcast’s amazing roster of Featured Artists via Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Google or Samsung. You can find out more about Don White’s work on his website and visit his online shop where you can buy everything from original prints to iPhone cases. To keep up with the (art) cosmos and be the first to know about his latest creations, you can also follow him on Instagram @donwhiteouterspace.