Artist SPOTLIGHT: Scott Listfield
Scott Listfield's work is seriously good. I know it's good because it pisses me off and if I find another artists' work upsetting it can be for only one of two reasons; it is either truly terrible, or really, really good.
I don't know anything about him, all I know is I stumbled across his paintings of astronauts online one day and couldn't stop looking through them. The clever use of the astronaut is very effective, no matter what environment he is painted in it now seems freshly explored. The viewer sees everything vicariously through the calm, observing gaze of the astronaut. We get to re-discover our cities, landscapes and other common place objects/places as though for the first time.
All that would be enough but adding the surrealistic and modern imagery on top takes the project to another level. The astronaut not only observes what you feel is common place, but he observes some truly bizarre things that he takes for granted as normal, since the astronaut has no other frame of reference to work from. To the astronaut, large digital arcade monsters floating in the sky must be a standard feature out here on Earth.
There is another wrinkle to all this logic. He sure seems like a human astronaut, so why does it feel so much like it is an exploration of his own planet? Why would that happen? It doesn't really matter- the way all these little pieces come together is brilliant.
None of this would matter all that much if he wasn't so technically nailing it. The brush work, the colors, the realism is executed at such a high level that Listfield drives home the core concept without getting in his own way at all.
Oh and he paints dinosaurs.
So thanks Scott for making me both love your work and making me feel like I should just go burn my brushes and start chinchilla farming.
Visit: Astronautdinosaur.com to see more of Scott's extremely solid paintings of astronauts and dinosaurs.