Scott Listfield is known for his paintings featuring a lone exploratory astronaut lost in a landscape cluttered with pop culture icons, corporate logos, and tongue-in-cheek science fiction references. Scott grew up in Boston, MA and studied art at Dartmouth College. After some time spent living abroad, Scott returned to America and, shortly before the real life, non-movie version of the year 2001, began painting astronauts and, sometimes, dinosaurs.
For this series I found myself trying to retain some attachment to the outside world after spending most of the last year indoors. At various points during that time, when it's been relatively safe to do so, I've found myself going on increasingly long and meandering walks through the winding hilly streets and neighborhoods near my home in Los Angeles. It's given me some sense of purpose, and at least a rough facsimile of the feeling of exploration that often inspires my paintings. This outside world feels very much like a dream to me. One I experience in short bursts before returning to my living room and my studio, where I hunker down and make some paintings in-between episodes of Wandavision.
I've also been lately revisiting some of the works of Philip K. Dick, who has long been an inspiration in my paintings. When I walk outside, it sometimes feels like I'm entering the hallucinogenic semi-futuristic California often depicted in his books. I've lately been hearing an owl in my neighborhood, and I can't help but wonder if it's real, a replicant, or just a recording.
But I'm also feeling hopeful for the first time in a long while. Vaccines are circulating, and I hope that one day soon we'll be able to return to something resembling normal. It will be a strange experience though, living life again after so long putting it on hold. This series of paintings are about what I hope are the last days of this period of unreality we've been living in, and looking beyond it to something new.
- Scott Listfield, 2021