Space exploration consortium announces plan to put artwork on the Moon
While most artists aspire to have their work exhibited somewhere like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a piece by Dubai-based British painter Sacha Jafri may soon be soaring to even loftier heights – plans call for it to be permanently displayed on the Moon.
The project was announced this Wednesday (Feb. 23rd) at Expo 2020's USA Pavilion in Dubai. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the Moon, the endeavour will constitute one part of the first commercial lunar mission to be carried out under NASA's CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative.
The main partners include UK-based space exploration company Spacebit; American company Astrobotic Technology, which manufactures systems for delivering cargo to the Moon; and United Arab Emirates-based company Selenian, which specializes in "the curation of art in space."
Although Spacebit is currently developing a multi-legged lunar rover of its own, the artwork will reportedly be carried to the Moon later this year via a launch vehicle provided by Colorado-based United Launch Alliance, then placed on the lunar surface by one of Astrobatic's unmanned rovers. The piece will be accompanied by various scientific instruments, for use in studies being conduced by other mission partners.
Entitled We Rise Together – with the Light of the Moon, Jafri's creation features a gold-plated aerospace-grade aluminum "canvas," in order to withstand the temperature extremes it will have to withstand on the Moon's surface. We're stilling waiting to hear back about how the image was applied to that canvas.
During each separate phase of the mission – including the rocket entering the stratosphere, circumnavigating the Earth, and reaching the Moon – commemorative pieces of Jafri's NFT (non-fungible token) artwork will be offered to buyers. Proceeds from those sales will go toward addressing "the four main concerns of our world," namely health, education, sustainability and equality.
It should be noted that Jafri's most recent painting, The Journey of Humanity, sold last year for US$62 million. Not only is it the world's largest canvas painting, but it is also the second most expensive painting ever sold at auction by a living artist.
"The placement of my moon-landed heart artwork, entitled We Rise Together – with the Light of the Moon, aims to reconnect humanity to ourselves, each other, our creator, and ultimately to 'The Soul of the Earth,'" he stated in a press release. "With figures, entwined in love, reaching for a newfound understanding of unity and consequential hope, as they embark on their journey of exploration from our inhabited planet to our uninhabited Moon; through space and time, over mountain and star, to unlearn what we thought we knew and relearn everything through the hearts, minds, and souls of our children; the purest essence from which we have drifted so far, aiming to shine a light back on our broken planet, and start to heal its fractured heart."
Update (Feb. 28, 2020): This article originally stated United Launch Alliance was based in Texas when it is actually based in Denver, Colorado. We apologize for the error, which has now been corrected, and thank those who brought it to our attention.