Artists in Space! @ Hyperallergic
Space travel has historically been controlled by government entities — thus the chance to be an astronaut was limited by their tedious, bureaucratic tendency to recruit people who can, you know, fly aircraft and, like, understand astrophysics. But here in our glorious age of Late Capitalism, we collectively demonstrate that there is no endeavor requiring any greater qualification than being excessively wealthy!
Why is this great news for art weirdos? Because, as reported by The Washington Post, Elon Musk’s private cosmic project SpaceX, announced yesterday that the first paying tourist that his company intends to fly on a trip around the moon is none other than Yusaku Maezawa. Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire entrepreneur, made news last year when he dropped $110.5 million on a painting by US artist Jean-Michel Basquiat at a Sotheby’s auction. Not content to merely pay astronomical prices for artworks, Maezawa now intends to make astronauts of artists, as he announced his intention to diversify his space-entourage with an international group of six to eight sculptors, painters, architects and filmmakers. Maezawa is quoted as saying the trip, slated for 2023, will lead to the production of art “to inspire the dreamer in all of us.”
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Concept sketch for The Museum of Contemporary Art on the Moon (MOCAM), a collaborative project orchestrated by artist Julio Orta. (image courtesy of Julio Orta)