Houston, we have a problem: Jeff Koons is sending sculptures to the moon
To be launched at the Kennedy Space Centre later this year, 125 Koons moon sculptures will be displayed on the moon in a fully transparent, compartmentalised cube.
- Liz Gorny
- 11 April 2022
This year, Jeff Koons will take a step into two arenas for the first time: the Metaverse and the moon. The artist has announced that he will be sending 125 miniature moon sculptures into space, each approximately one inch in diameter, which will remain on display on the moon permanently. The artworks aim to “explore the imagination and technological innovation of the human race”, explains a release, but whether or not they will serve as a giant leap for mankind remains to be seen.
Marking 50 years since America’s last crewed trip to the moon, the sculptures will lift off from pad 39A, Kennedy Space Centre later this year and make their landing on an Intuitive Machines Nova-C Lunar Lander in a fully autonomous mission. The 125 miniature moon sculptures, each depicting one of the 125 unique phases of the moon and named after an influential person from human history such as Plato and Warhol, will be displayed together in space in a sustainably built, fully transparent, compartmentalised cube. The Nova-C Lunar Lander will be bringing the sculptures to the moon as part of a mission carrying NASA payloads.
Titled Jeff Koons: Moon Phases, the new series will also comprise two other components; each moon-bound sculpture will be accompanied by another large, spherical, stainless-steel sculpture encased in glass that will stay on the Earth, plus an NFT that corresponds with the sculptures on the Moon and the Earth. The sculptures to remain on Earth will feature a reflective surface – similar to Koons’ Rabbit – mimicking the colours on the moon’s surface and a tiny precious stone – either a ruby, emerald, sapphire, or diamond – which will indicate the location of the landing on the moon.
As for the NFT aspect of the project, each digital artwork will reveal an image of the sculpture installed on the moon’s surface, along with “Jeff Koons’s iconic signature” and “other images”, says the release. The NFTs will be presented by Pace Verso in partnership with the project’s initiators, Patrick Colangelo of NFMoon and Chantelle Baier of 4Space. The release adds that proceeds from one of the first NFT sales will be donated to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in support of the organisation’s medical humanitarian aid programs.
On his most ambitious work to date, Koons states: “I wanted to create a historically meaningful NFT project rooted in humanistic and philosophical thought. Our achievements in space represent the limitless potential of humanity. Space explorations have given us a perspective of our ability to transcend worldly constraints. These ideas are central to my NFT project, which can be understood as a continuation and celebration of humanity’s aspirational accomplishments within and beyond our own planet.”
Jeff Koons: Jeff Koons: Moon Phases (Copyright © Jeff Koons/ Pace Verso/ NFMoon/ 4Space, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.