As Part of His NFT Debut, Jeff Koons Will Launch Sculptures Into Space and Place Them Permanently on the Moon

The artist describes the project as a "celebration of humanity’s aspirational accomplishments."

Jeff Koons. © Jeff Koons.
Jeff Koons. © Jeff Koons.

Jeff Koons is already the most expensive living artist on Earth. Now he’s setting his sights even higher and sending his art to the moon.

In a new project titled “Jeff Koons: Moon Phases,” the 67-year-old artist will present his first-ever NFT collection with Pace Verso—the gallery’s Web3 platform—of artwork inspired by the technological advancements of humans and their endless fascination with the moon. Koons first teased his entry into NFTs back in 2021, soon after he cut ties with Gagosian and David Zwirner to work solely with Pace.

Each unique digital work from the “Moon Phases” series will correspond to a physical sculpture. Later this year, a group of the sculptures will be launched into space from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the United States’s last crewed trip to the moon on Apollo 17. The project aims to do some terrestrial good, too; a limited number of NFTs will be sold through Pace, and proceeds from some of the first sales will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

US artist Jeff Koons poses with Gazing Ball (Birdbath). Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images.

Jeff Koons poses with Gazing Ball (Birdbath). Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images.

“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,” Koons said in a statement. “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.”

The project is a collaboration between Koons and Pace Verso; NFMoon, a digital art and technology company founded by Patrick Colangelo; and 4Space, which was founded by Chantelle Baier as the first female-owned space company going to the moon, and is involved with Intuitive Machines, which designed the Nova-C lunar lander that will carry Koons’s work.

The sculptures will be the first-ever authorized artworks to be placed on the surface of the moon—specifically in the Oceanus Procellarum, an area that stretches across more than 1,600 miles across the moon’s north-south axis—where they will remain in perpetuity, stored in a transparent and thermally coated miniature satellite known as a CubeSat, as Jack Fischer, vice president of Intuitive Machines and a former NASA astronaut, explained.

There are no details just yet on what Koons’s artworks will look like or what they will consist of. In August 2021, a trio of paintings by Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo took flight on one of Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin rocket ships, and the artist had to use special materials to ensure their safety upon returning to the atmosphere.

“This moon-based NFT project, the scale of which aligns with Jeff’s monumental career and impact in the arts, confirms his legacy as one of the world’s greatest creative visionaries,” said Pace president and CEO Marc Glimcher.


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