American pop artist Jeff Koons is to send sculptures to the Moon later this year on a spacecraft blasting off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, his gallery said Tuesday. Koons, one of the most celebrated and expensive living artists, is famed for kitsch pieces such as “Ballon Dog” and “Rabbit,” and his work is exhibited in galleries around the world. His latest project “Moon Phases” consists of physical sculptures that will be left permanently on the lunar surface in a transparent, thermally coated miniature satellite, the Pace Gallery in New York said.
Koons will also make unique digital versions of the sculptures-marking his entry into the lucrative new world of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). The sculptures will travel on the “Nova-C Lunar Lander,” designed by private company Intuitive Machines, and will be placed on the surface of the Moon in the Oceanus Procellarum.
“I wanted to create a historically meaningful NFT project,” Koons, 67, said. “Our achievements in space represent the limitless potential of humanity.” The gallery released no details on the number or size of sculptures heading into space, but said the location will become a lunar heritage site. It added the project would mark 50 years since America’s last crewed trip to the Moon. NASA is targeting May for a test flight of Artemis-1 — an uncrewed lunar mission-ahead of an eventual crewed landing, likely no sooner than 2026. – AFP