Amazing Painting Reimagines All the Planets in Perfect Alignment Along Their Curve

Galaxy Art by Steve Gildea

“Planetary Suite II”

Artist Steve Gildea imagines what it’d look like if the planets were all perfectly aligned. Through his Planetary Suite series, he matches the curved edges of nine celestial bodies (including Pluto) to create one eye-pleasing form. With Gildea’s attention to detail and tight rendering, it’s natural to assume that this is the work of astrophotography. They are, however, oil paintings arranged as a polyptych. Each planet is an individual canvas measuring six feet tall and just over a foot wide.

Gildea is formally trained as a painter, but his professional career was spent teaching computer-based media. “Because the field is always changing I was always striving to keep up and was producing work in 3D, digital photography and digital video,” he said. “I felt I had little time to paint.” Things changed as a he was on the verge of retirement. His son shared Planetary Suite online and it went viral on Reddit. “Now,” Gildea wrote, “I had the motivation to rediscover the medium of oil paint.”

If you’re interested in owning Planetary Suite I or Planetary Suite II, Gildea sells canvas reproductions and prints in varying sizes on his website.

Steve Gildea creates polyptych galaxy art that imagines what it would look like if the planets were perfectly aligned.

Galaxy Art by Steve Gildea

“Planetary Suite I”

Steve Gildea: Website 

My Modern Met granted permission to use images by Steve Gildea. 

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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