Sublime Sci-Fi Album Art by Dan McPharlin

Dan McPharlin, featured previously on Neatorama for his papercraft of miniature retro analog electronics, is back for the feature of his stunning collection of retro sci fi landscapes and album cover art. The Australian artist answered an interview question from Sci-fi-O-Rama about the visual style he most identified with the following:

"Surrealism has always been an influence and I suppose my work also draws heavily on what I consider the ‘golden age’ of sci-fi art. The artwork that is the most exciting to me was what I grew up with; lavish paperback covers, record sleeves and game boxes by Roger Dean, illustrated speculative fiction like the Terran Trade series, art books published by Dragon’s Dream, Paper Tiger (exactly the kind of thing you feature on Sci-fi-O-Rama in fact!) I remember a handful of tattered school library books that I would borrow over and over. I think there was one called Space Wars that I just kept re-borrowing for a whole year; my name was probably the only one on the library slip!

A lot of the newer genres I know very little about. While I find a lot of contemporary work technically impressive, I often have a hard time connecting to it emotionally. For me mood and atmosphere always trumps technical verisimilitude so thats what I try to bring to my work."

That retro surrealist quality is certainly evident in these striking artworks. Additionally, interviewer Kieran  bonded with McPharlin over their heavy use of the Commodore Amiga back in the day. You can take the boy out of the retro...

See more pieces by McPharlin here as well as at his website.   



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Meh - I dunno: there's inspiration, and then there's slavish imitation.

Some of these look like he literally scanned a bunch of Roger Dean's covers, cropped a few elements out of each one and then collaged them together.

And the red beach balls? C'mon - we've all heard of Hipgnosis.
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