Photo-realistic painting of the cityscape of a future Los Angeles with both recognizable buildings like City Hall and downtown towers, as well as new futuristic buildings, highways, cars, and walkways.Photo-realistic painting of a futuristic loading dock with sharp lines, boxy designs, shipping containers being lowered by helicopter like attachments and bubble cockpits, onto stacks of containers in columns, pilots disembarking, a control center booth with large windows elevated behind them, a light colored wall behind them with a wide opening at floor level tall enough for the containers come and go, behind it a subtle night time cityscape in the distance with urban lighting.Photo-realistic painting with layer of clouds above a setting sun with an orange horizon above a distant mountain range behind broad flatlands with a dense city in a circular shape, an elevated observation platform in the foreground with people watching the sunset.Photorealistic painting of an open air cityscape with a few very tall buildings dotting the urban landscape, one apparent elevator with a outside a cylindrical elevator car, numbered 757, with a bubble area at the front with passengers.Photorealistic painting of the surface of a grey lunar landscape with a black starry night above, and a spread circular semi-transparent dome developments on the surface, networked together with corridors, mini-urban landscapes visible inside the domes.Photorealistic painting of an urban transit center with a few mass transit trains boarding or disembarking passengers on multiple open air levels, waiting areas with plantbeds built into them, growing, some over the edges of balconies, urban pale colored cityscape in the background, with park areas with various trees and bushes, a few tall trees reaching skyward, and tall buildings in the distance, with a blue sky background.Photorealistic painting of the inside of a ringworld with white pale construction beams on either side of the disc, the inside surface of the ring about half planned green open spaces with forests, and about half occupied by white or pale colored urban cityscapes, a broad river winding its way through the middle, in the foreground, and the mix of greenery & buildings rolling up and back into the distance along the surface of the ring.Line art drawing of a future urban street scene.Photorealistic painting of a future urban street scene.Photorealistic painting of the inside of a future urban kitchen, with highly stylized spaceship-style cabinets above, counters around the edge of the room, a window, an entertainment display, a sink, press oven, various utensils hanging from the wall.“Reality ahead of schedule”. Saw the Syd Mead Exhibition at the gallery O&O Depot, where many of his Future Cities paintings and sketches were on display.

It’s fascinating viewing his paintings in the context of the years he painted them (1970s-2000s). There are aspects of both #utopia and #dystopia, depending on how you view them, which details you explore and analyze.

The paintings pose provocative questions about the implied systems behind the structures and the people.

What are the economic and political systems that enabled the construction of these cityscapes?

What are people’s roles in them, what purposes do they serve, and how are the structures maintained?

Could they be maintained by different political systems than those that built them or do they assume or reinforce particular systems?

The first photo is the only one that I saw that integrated present city features (Los Angeles city hall!) into a vision for the near future(1), with multiple generations and layers of construction. Others have apparently completed or fully formed visions.

There was also only one based on another world(5), likely the moon. Only a few show adjacency with the existing natural environment(3) or integration of planned natural features(6,7). In general the artwork shows fully developed or urbanized environments(2,4,8,9), or an indoor scene: Deckard’s kitchen from Blade Runner(10) lacking any apparent plantlife.

The opening quote is excerpted from “I’ve called science fiction ‘reality ahead of schedule’”, by Syd Mead himself in a 2008 New York Times Interview: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/23/arts/23iht-lights.1.13118726.html

#art #reality #SydMead #exhibit #gallery #future #painting #paintings #city #cities #cityscape #cityscapes #structures #systems #2020_028 #20200128 #noFilter

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