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With an Eye to the Stars, a Realist Painter Maps Out Constellations with a Paintbrush

Damian Loeb’s blown-out canvases radiate with an inner light.

by Diana Shi
19 February 2017, 3:49pm

Sagittarius. All images courtesy the artist and Acquavella Gallery

With just his paint brushes, a collection of oversized canvases, anddesire to transport viewers to the far reaches of outer space, Damien Loeb creates stunning views of the universe far, far away. The American artist considers formations of stars as well as the zodiac calendar in his slow-burning visualizations of the dark extraterrestrial sky. The artist is a master of precise application to each of his canvases, building up more color, to create a thoroughly complex depiction of what the universe really looks like.

In a new series, titled Sgr A*, the artist uses fine-detailed painting techniques to laboriously create huge depictions of space and its constellations. Harboring a dedication to replicate the view inside a telescope, Loeb creates a stirring replicas on prominent star signs. There's the obvious sagittarius, followed by other organized clusters of light, such as the Big Dipper and the planet Jupiter and its satellites.

Before constructing each of his works, the realist artist works extensively to capture just the right body of inspirational materials. "For millennia," says Loeb, "humans have been scrutinizing all the mysterious forms in the sky looking for a reason or a purpose to them; assigning various omens and import on these otherworldly objects." The artist is in-touch with extreme stillness and desolation that is reflective of the true nature of space. "Jupiter and four of its moons, minuscule and isolated, alone on a dark empty field looks like a small, newly discovered solar system in the distance. 6-foot sun painting depicting the transit of mercury shows the solar flames dancing on its face while mercury, represented as a small black dot, floats above the surface"

These paintings," shares Loeb, "are created using images I captured from years of shooting all that is visible in the sky above. The scenes are altered and augmented to express the emotional context each tableau represents."

Sgr A*, featuring artwork by Damian Loeb, shows at Acquavella Gallery in New York, from March 3–April 7. Find more information about the artist and Sgr A*, here.

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Tagged:
Culture
sky
Space
outer space
hyperrealism
constellations
Damian Loeb
Sgr A*
Acquavella Gallery