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Sweeping Sci-Fi Scenes: The Art Portfolio of John Berkey

A painting of a large space stationBoiling Globe

The late John Berkey was a science fiction artist, noted for his sweeping sci-fi scenes and detailed imaginings of future space travel and exploration. Berkey’s artwork has appeared in many formats, from movie posters to books to postage stamps.

A painting of futuristic underwater shipsUnderwater Ships on Blue


I really enjoy the style that Berkey used to produce his paintings. There’s an incredible balance in these works between gestural, painterly pigment and fine-tuned attention to detail. Berkey was an expert at using particular brush strokes to create the appearance of tiny windows, ship components, or craters on a distant moon.


Like fellow space artist Rick Guidice, Berkey produced illustrations for NASA before moving on to working for creative properties. His commercial works included poster designs for movies like Star Wars and King Kong, as well as work for publications such as National Geographic, Popular Mechanics, and Science Fiction Age. Berkey was inducted into the Society of Illustrator’s Hall of Fame in 2004.  

A painting of a space station in orbitSpace Study 695

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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