Tuesday, May 24, 2016

21st Century Foss

21st Century Foss (1978) is a collection of artwork from acclaimed artist and science fiction Illustrator Chriss Foss.

My own copy of 21st Century Foss

Ehrm, let me say like this: If you have picked up a sci-fi novel somewhere, written by a genre heavy weight like Isaac Asimov (or lighter stuff like the UK versions of Perry Rhodan ) and with a cover as colorful as a Australian dollar bill....then Chriss Foss probably made that cover.

Foss` artowork for the Foundation series.

The UK version of Perry Rhodan with cover from Foss.
Alejandro Jodorovsky  managed to get Foss on his team for the (failed) filmatization of DUNE for concepts of vehicles, spacecraft and whole worlds.

The mad emperors artificial palace (DUNE)
The movie was never made, but Foss` brilliant artwork and visions of how the DUNE universe should have looked like still live on in this book.

Spice freighter.
After (Jodorwsky`s) DUNE, Foss went on making concepts for the first Superman movie and also the movie Alien.

Jodorowsky on Foss:
"Dune had to be made. But what kind of spaceships to use? Certainly not the degenerate and cold offspring of present day. American automobiles and submarines, the very antithesis of art, usually seen in science fiction films, including 2001. No! I wanted magical entities, vibrating vehicles, like fish that swim and have their being in the mythological deeps of the surrounding ocean.The "galactic" ships of North American technocracy are a mouse-gray insult to the diving, therefore delirious, chaos of the universe. I wanted jewels, machine-animals, soul-mechanisms. Sublime as snow crystals, myriad-faceted fly eyes, butterfly pinions. Not giant refrigerators, transistorized and riveted hulk; bloated with imperialism, pillage, arrogance and eunuchoid science. (WHAT?!)"

Phew....big mouthful huh?

But he (Jodorowsky)  goes on:
"I affirm that next to the soul the most beautiful object in the galaxy is a spaceship! We all dreamed of womb-shops, antechambers for rebirth into other dimensions, we dreamed of whore-ships driven by the semen of our passionate ejaculations. The invincible and castrating rocket carrying our vengeance to the icy heart of a treacherous sun, humming-bird ornithopters which fly us to sip the ancient nectar of the dwarf stars giving us the juice of eternity. YES! But far more than that: angielic splendor! We dreamed of caterpillar-tracked hot rods so vast that their tails would disappear behind the horizon!"

Oh wow....

But yes, Foss` art is that great...and I keep finding more and more details over the 25 years I own this book.

1 comment:

  1. Darn, I got that book when I was 10yo, right after reading the first book od the Dune Collection, and I recall feeling thr awe and wonderment of those images, what a delight...