The project is a “celebration of humanity’s aspirational triumphs,” according to the artist.
Jeff Koons is already the world’s most valuable living artist. Now he’s aiming even higher by sending his artwork to the moon.
The 67-year-old artist will present his first-ever NFT collection with Pace Verso—the gallery’s Web3 platform—of artwork inspired by human technological developments and their ongoing interest with the moon in a new project named “Jeff Koons: Moon Phases.” Soon after cutting relations with Gagosian and David Zwirner to work solely with Pace, Koons teased his foray into NFTs in 2021.
Each piece in the “Moon Phases” series will be accompanied with a real sculpture. A set of the sculptures will be launched into space later this year from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the US’s last crewed mission to the moon, Apollo 17. The project also intends to do some good on the ground; a limited quantity of NFTs will be sold through Pace, with proceeds from the first sales going to Doctors Without Borders.
“I intended to make a historically significant NFT project that was based on humanistic and philosophical ideas.” In a statement, Koons stated, “Our achievements in space embody humanity’s boundless potential.” “Our potential to transcend worldly constraints has been enhanced by space explorations.” These concepts are at the heart of my NFT project, which may be seen as a continuation and celebration of humanity’s aspirational achievements both on and off the planet.”
The project is a collaboration between Koons and Pace Verso, as well as NFMoon, a digital art and technology company founded by Patrick Colangelo, and 4Space, which was founded by Chantelle Baier as the first female-owned space company to go to the moon, and is involved with Intuitive Machines, which designed the Nova-C lunar lander that will carry Koons’ work.
According to Jack Fischer, vice president of Intuitive Machines and a former NASA astronaut, the sculptures will be the first-ever authorised artworks to be placed on the moon’s surface—specifically, in the Oceanus Procellarum, a region spanning more than 1,600 miles across the moon’s north-south axis—where they will remain in perpetuity, stored in a transparent and thermally coated miniature satellite known as a CubeSat.
There are yet no clues on how Koons’ artworks will appear or what they will contain. A trio of paintings by Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo took flew aboard one of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket ships in August 2021, and the artist had to employ specific materials to secure their safety after they landed.
“The size of this moon-based NFT project aligns with Jeff’s mammoth career and impact in the arts, confirming his legacy as one of the world’s greatest creative visionaries,” Pace president and CEO Marc Glimcher said.
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