I’ve been a fan of Roger Dean’s art for a long time now – I bought his book Views when I was a teenager. As soon as I saw the Avatar previews, I could see the similarity to Dean’s work from the nineties. There is a bit of controversy about how much Avatar’s designers have borrowed Dean’s ideas – a quick Google search will give you a sense.
I did love Avatar. It’s a great rollercoaster ride that kept me mostly engaged for the three hours and it was worth travelling to a city with a 3D theatre to see it with specs on (yes, I live in a rural city). I do think the designs and ideas were extraordinary, and the 3D unobtrusive.
Certainly the covers of the Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe – Live and Yes – Keys to Ascension albums predate Avatar’s design. I would guess that many of the Avatar designers were infants when ABWH came out. There is some good discussion of the similarities – like this post: more than I can say. I guess if it had been my paintings at the very least, a credit would have been nice, some consultation would have been nice, too, even without the idea of remuneration. I wonder now, though, how Dean’s long-held idea of a movie dealing with his floating islands would pitch to the studios.