Billionaire art collector wants to take artists to space



A digital drawing of outer space by artist Mattia Merlo (via Flickrstream by Mattia Merlo)

Space travel has always been controlled by government entities – so the chance to be an astronaut was limited by their tedious bureaucratic tendency to recruit people who can, you know, fly airplanes and, like, understand the world. astrophysics. But here, in our glorious time of late capitalism, we are collectively demonstrating that there is no effort requiring greater skill than being excessively rich!

Why is this good news for art freaks? Because, as reported The Washington Post, the private cosmic project of Elon Musk SpaceX, announced yesterday that the first paid tourist his company intends to fly for a trip around the moon is none other than Yusaku Maezawa. Maezawa, a billionaire Japanese entrepreneur, made the news last year when he deposited $ 110.5 million on a painting by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat at an auction at Sotheby’s. Not content with paying astronomical prices for works of art, Maezawa now intends to make artists into astronauts, since he has announced his intention to diversify his space entourage with an international group of six to eight sculptors, painters, architects and filmmakers. . Maezawa reportedly said the trip, scheduled for 2023, would lead to the production of art “to inspire the dreamer in all of us.”

Conceptual sketch of the Museum of Contemporary Art on the Moon (MOCAM), a collaborative project orchestrated by artist Julio Orta. (image courtesy of Julio Orta)

First of all, mission accomplished, Maezawa! If you and the rich madman Elon Musk manage to send six to eight artists into space, you will have inspired all of us who cut high school science classes so we could have some extra time in the darkroom. and smoke behind the gym. WE GO INTO SPACE, NERDS SCIENCE. WE ARE THE ASTRONAUTS NOW.

Second, I really, really hope that you have real scientists and pilots on board, or at least robots or something, because seriously, if something goes wrong, a poignant mirror presented to the human condition is not. will NOT save you.

Third, what does it take to get one of those coveted spots on a space flight? While this represents the chance of a lifetime, it also represents the chance of a total blast, right? This programming is not a simple matter of sorting out the most obvious blue chips – it will require artists who are fearless, fearless, and whose egos cannot be satisfied by a simple interplay.national Fame. We speak fame of interstellar art, you lame, earthly artists. We are the arttronauts.

In fact, a potentially concerning development is that if one hasn’t been on the Moon then one can’t really understand the booming moon art movement, and so I think it would be better. that Maezawa reserve one more seat on the space bus for a reviewer. How else can we really be qualified to assess this art inspiring dreamers? Despite my reservations about putting my life in the hands of someone as clearly out of balance as Elon Musk, I will courageously volunteer to take the discipline to the outer stratosphere. Like so many things, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for the sake of art. But for information, I write the word “artstronauts”. ©

And if I can make one final humble suggestion, it would be not to pass up this singular opportunity to bring Jeff Koons into space. And then, while he’s distracted by the wording of a sharp but accessible social commentary, discreetly eject him into some sort of pod and return to Earth before he notices it.

Have a good trip and good luck, arttronauts !!

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