John Berkey (1932-2008)

John Berkey (1932-April 29, 2008)John Conrad Berkey was an artist known for his space and sci-fi-themed works. He created some of the early artwork for the original Star Wars trilogy. He has worked as a freelance artist since the 1960s, after an eight-year stint at a St. Paul, Minnesota advertising agency.

John has had a long and distinguished career during which he has avoided computers. However, John’s futuristic space images have almost single-handedly defined the look of modern, hi-tech space craft. Whether you know it or not John Berkey was the pioneer who has defined a lot of what we now accept as modern space design.

Digital artists creating science fiction works owe a huge debt of thanks to the inspiring art of John Berkey. – Ballistic Publishing

The Art of John Berkey Jane Frank examines all aspects of Berkey’s work, with more than 100 color illustrations drawn from all periods of his career-including personal illustrations painted for his own artistic satisfaction. Berkey himself contributes an autobiographical introduction. “His wonderfully facile style is the perfect balance between painterly impressionism and hard-edged realism.

Link: Moving Walls Gallery

Link: EXPOSÉ 5 Grand Master Award

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  1. David 8 years ago

    amazing! great concept and imagination!

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  2. Son 8 years ago

    One of the best that ever lived, My first image of John’s was the Star Wars poster he did. Which is still one of my favorite. We will miss you John.

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  3. john 8 years ago

    SICK! so realistic… kinda spooky actually

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  4. shardana 7 years ago

    best scifi art ever created!

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  5. Richard Lee 7 years ago

    I’ve drawn variations of his space ships since I was a small child. I always emulated the ripping effect of the fire as the space ships streaked across the sky. I would play, on paper, by drawing entire battle scenes after only having seen a couple of pictures of his as a kid (6,7 or 8). THIS guy was a heavy hitter and I am sure was a motivational factor for some heavy talent that came later on.
    I’ve been familiar with his “Model car” painting for almost 20 years, but I never put it all together until today.- Wow.

    The best thing about his work is the impressionist aspect of it. He didn’t need to actually paint all the detail to in order to convey it. This was when Knife painting was the big thing in the 70’s. How wonderful that someone smart got tired of painting cityscapes and turned the knife towards space.

    Most influential artist in my life.

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  6. Morgan Jerome 5 years ago


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  7. Adam 4 years ago

    Amazing works! Great understanding of composiotion, plus colour and the characteristic “hand” that we can notice. It’s easy to realised that the artist has combined the classical school of art with the new trends which became something unique in my opinion. Awesome !

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  8. anand mhetre 3 years ago

    i am wonder, i cannot do comments on his art , because i am very small ahed him. it’s just ”SPEECHLESS”

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