Aesthetic Exploration: Retrofuturism

Retrofuturism is a contemporary art movement combing visual aspects of the past with imagined technology of the future. The style is quite broad, and is explored in various art mediums and media franchises. Retrofuturistic pieces are generally characterized by smooth, clean lines, bright primary colors and shiny metals such as chrome. The pieces are generally well lit and optimistic, but certain artists have explored the darker, more serious side of the genre

Retrofuturistic style was pioneered by the likes of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, but Retrofuturism as we know it began in the late 60’s with the futurism movement. In the 60’s, many artists attempted to predict the future in a way by painting scenes of how they envision the future. These pieces now seem outdated and a bit short sited, as they showed a progression in technology but not in culture and aesthetics. Modern artists looking back on these predictive pieces and attempting to recreate the style is the seed of retrofuturism.  Fallout is perhaps the most ubiquitous franchise to make use of this movement, but It generally explores a more dark, gritty, post apocalyptic view of the genre

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • A very interesting aesthetic choice, especially regarding the time period of the 60s, during when the Space Craze was in its full swing.
    I like how you were able to tie in Fallout, a more modern video game, into the entire situation.
    Technology was on the rise (as with the space battle with Russia and the US), so I think it would be interesting to explore the political/social scene in why people were so obsessed with the concept of modern futurism and space in general.

  • Nicole Leon-Molina
    January 22, 2020 5:33 pm

    Great choice in aesthetic! I like that you specifically mention that it showed “progression in technology but not culture and aesthetics.” The way of life is something that gets overlooked when we imagine what the future will look like. We generally think of new fancy gadgets but seldom consider their effects on our way of life.
    The Retrofuturism aesthetic reminds me of the Jetsons. They have space ships and servant robots but they didn’t really reinvent the way homes looked or the effect of their technology on daily life.


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