Scott Listfield

A person who grew up in the last few decades of the 20th century can tell you one thing with certainty: if there’s a fully suited-up astronaut staring out at an Earth-ly landscape, something has gone horribly awry.

So in a way, it’s no surprise that Scott Listfield’s iconographic, sometimes heartbreaking oil paintings, featuring so many trappings of our modern lives, have in common the presence of an astronaut, whose viewpoint—often literally—becomes our own.

Listfield knew that he had to use the astronaut in his paintings after seeing the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey around the year 2000. That movie, like so many pieces of pop culture, gave a vision of the future that Listfield, now a part of that future, was not living. And his viewing of that movie coincided with a time of personal upheaval, as...

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