A Sculpture by Jeff Koons Becomes the First Authorized Artwork on the Moon

Jeff Koons' sculpture titled 'Moon Phases' has become the first authorized artwork on the moon, marking NASA's first moon mission in 50 years and the first commercial craft to land on the lunar surface.


The First Authorized Artwork on the Moon

A sculpture by renowned artist Jeff Koons has made history by becoming the first 'authorized' artwork on the moon. Titled 'Moon Phases,' the artwork was launched into space as part of NASA and Lunar Machines' uncrewed mission on February 15. This mission not only represents NASA's first moon mission in five decades but also marks the first commercial craft to successfully land on the lunar surface.

While Koons is known for his mirror-polished stainless steel sculptures like the 'Balloon Dog' series and his provocative 'Made in Heaven' photographs, 'Moon Phases' takes on a different form. The artwork consists of 125 small moon-like spheres, each dedicated to honoring a famous individual who has made significant contributions throughout history. The names of notable figures such as David Bowie, Sojourner Truth, Galileo, and Helen Keller are represented on these spheres.

Bringing Meaning to the Dialogue

Koons expresses his intention behind 'Moon Phases,' stating that he wanted to bring meaning to the dialogue and communicate with people globally about the transformative power of art. Each sphere represents how these notable individuals have made significant changes and provided us with insights into transcending our lives through art.

In addition to the sculpture placed on the moon's surface, 'Moon Phases' also includes an NFT (non-fungible token) and a set of larger polished spheres that will remain on Earth. These spheres are adorned with precious gemstones that symbolize the landing sites of the corresponding lunar sculptures.

The First 'Authorized' Artwork?

While 'Moon Phases' is being hailed as the first 'authorized' artwork on the moon, there is a fabled project from 1969 that involved artists such as Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Known as the 'Moon Museum,' artists contributed sketches that were miniaturized onto a small ceramic chip. The chip was allegedly attached to the moon lander by an engineer from the Apollo 12 lunar mission, referred to only as 'John F.' However, it remains unconfirmed whether the chip was actually attached or not, as reported by Wired.