The first official artwork to be placed on the Moon.
Space industry organisations have teamed up with one of the world’s most celebrated artists, Sacha Jafri, to send the world’s first official artwork to the Moon. The composition, titled We Rise Together with the Light of the Moon, was revealed at the USA Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai. It will be placed on the surface of the Moon later this year by Spacebit, a company developing technology for space exploration and Astrobotic Technology Inc., which provides end-to-end delivery services for payloads to the Moon. The artistic/humanitarian aspect of the mission has been put together by Selenian, which specialises in the curation of art in space.
This will be the first ever commercial lunar mission under the NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative (CLPS). The landing site where Jafri’s artwork is placed, will in turn become a world heritage landmark, to be preserved eternally. Spacebit and their partners have used an aerospace grade aluminium gold plate as canvas in order for Jafri’s artwork to be fully resilient to the lunar conditions and to last forever on the Moon, withstanding extreme conditions and temperatures of between -173 degrees Celsius to +123 degrees Celsius. Along with Jafri’s work, a series of Jafri Heart-NFTs, created by him from his original piece, will be launched alongside each stage of the mission — from the rocket launch entering the stratosphere, Earth circumnavigation, Moon sling-shot, Moon landing, and the legacy of the artwork on the Moon. With Jafri’s most recent painting selling for a record-breaking USD$62 million, the mission aims to raise as much money as possible in aid of the some of the main concerns of the world - Health, Education, Sustainability and Equality.
NASA CLPS said that “this mission is particularly exciting to us (since) one of the world’s most celebrated artist/humanitarians, Sacha Jafri, will be placing the first official artwork on the surface of the Moon, funds from which will serve to aid humanity back on Earth. An unprecedented moment in history.”
Jafri said that “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’.
Sacha Jafri at a live painting session.
“We rise together, with a like-minded goal of creating a new vision for our world, focusing on the five pillars that will allow humanity to thrive once again: Universality, Consciousness, Connection, Empathy and Equality.” He is a British artist (aged 45), described as ‘The Pioneer of Magical Realism’ and is the youngest artist in history to have a 20 year Retrospective World Tour.
He is also the world record holder for the most amount of open-edition NFTs sold in under a minute (with $2 million USD worth being sold in just 45 seconds), and is also a Guinness World Record Holder for ‘The Largest Painting ever Created on Canvas’. His ‘Journey of Humanity’ painting (at 18,000 square feet) was created during the 2021 Covid-19 lockdown and is now described as ‘A modern day Sistine Chapel’. His charitable project ‘Humanity Inspired’ was awarded ‘The Largest Social, Artistic, and Philanthropic project in History’. His recent paintings celebrate the life achievements of Nelson Mandela, David Beckham, President Barack Obama, Sir Alex Ferguson and Queen Elizabeth II. The artist has raised more than $140 million dollars for charities across the world, from the sale of his art. Pavlo Tanasyuk, Founder, Spacebit said that “I believe in the future where symbiosis of art and engineering will form a new wave of space exploration that will become a powerful tool to inspire, educate and give back to humanity”.
James Khazaei, Co-Founder, Selenian, said that “just as Armstrong left the first footprint on the surface of the moon, Selenian is now set to leave the legacy of the moon’s first official artwork by Sacha Jafri on the lunar surface.
“Our ultimate goal is to be the gateway portal to Space and the Moon for physical and digital art assets, in turn giving back to the human community with purpose and utility here on Earth.” The artwork mission will mark the return of the USA to the Moon. As of now, the last soft landed US mission to the lunar surface took place in 1972, 50 years ago, as part of the Apollo programme. Spacebit is carrying out the lunar mission in partnership with its US partners Astrobotic Technology Inc., providing the lunar lander with United Launch Alliance providing the launch vehicle. The mission will be carried out on Astrobotic’s first commercial mission to the Moon — which is also delivering the first payloads (instruments and experiments) from NASA’s CLPS initiative. Astrobotic Technology Inc. is a US privately held aerospace company and is one of the two companies that are to deliver to the lunar surface NASA’s scientific and exploration-related instruments through the latter’s CLPS initiative under the Artemis programme.
Spacebit is a privately held space company developing technology for space exploration. Founded in 2014, it aims at helping humanity to search for and explore locations that could potentially serve as new habitats. Selenian is a UAE privately held company working in the sphere of space and lunar art. Its ultimate goal is to be the gateway portal to space for physical and digital art assets, through artworks, NFTs, tokenisation, and the Metaverse.
In line with the UAE’s cultural mission, the selection will promote artists from the Emirates and beyond to a new generation of art lovers around the world.
The event takes place at Level 1, Gate Village Building 3, Dubai International Financial Centre. The highest value paintings will be the first-ever to be brought to the Middle East by an auction house.
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