Jeff Koons to send sculptures to the Moon for permanent installation

US artist may have ignited a space race with Sacha Jafri, who recently announced he would be sending the first authorised artwork to the Moon

American pop artist Jeff Koons is to send sculptures to the Moon later this year on a spacecraft blasting off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. AFP
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In February, Sacha Jafri announced he will be sending the first official artwork to the Moon.

An engraved plate of aerospace-grade aluminium gold, the artwork, called We Rise Together — with the Light of the Moon, is set to be launched sometime later this year with the Nasa Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative.

But Jafri might have a contender in his bid to become the first artist to have a piece of work installed on the lunar surface.

Jeff Koons has now revealed plans of sending sculptures to the Moon. The artist, perhaps best known for his metallic balloon dog sculptures, will be creating a series of works that will be launched into space from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The sculptures will be left as a permanent installation on the moon. They will be housed in a transparent, thermally-coated miniature satellite.

The project, Moon Phases, will also have a “historically meaningful NFT” component, the American artist said. The sculptures will each have a corresponding NFT. Proceeds from the NFT sales will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

Pace Gallery’s NFT gallery Pace Verso is organising the project and the NFT sales. Intuitive Machines is creating the lunar lander. 4Space and NFMoon are also involved in the project.

Like with Jafri’s project, a launch date for Jeff Koons: Moon Phases has not been specified. However, they are both scheduled for later this year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the last manned Moon mission, the Apollo 17 landing in 1972.

The 12-day mission broke many records, including the longest crewed lunar landing mission, the greatest distance gone from a spacecraft during an extravehicular trip at 7.6 kilometres, and the longest total lunar surface extravehicular activities at 22 hours and 40 minutes. It even brought back 115 kilograms of Moon samples, making it the largest lunar sample return.

Updated: March 30, 2022, 7:22 AM