Shannon Lee, Artsy, July 30, 2021
Rising-star artist Amoako Boafo has been commissioned to paint three panels of a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket ship that will be launching on a roundtrip mission to space this fall. Titled Suborbital Triptych, the commission is part of a partnership between the Jeff Bezos–founded aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin and the new art program at Uplift Aerospace, curated by Jill Clark. “Amoako’s complex portrayals of the human spirit make him the perfect visionary to contemplate what that means and what it looks like in relation to this pivotal moment for mankind,” Clark told Artsy.
“The purpose of the Uplift Art Program is to inspire new ideas and generate dialogue by making space accessible and connected to human experiences,” Uplift Aerospace’s CEO Josh Hanes added in a statement. “Artists have a unique capacity to evoke fresh perspectives and interpret unfamiliar terrain. The profound strength of Amoako’s portraits for the first Suborbital Triptych will bring another dimension to the power that propels the New Shepard rocket.”
The initiative is one of a growing number involving art-world power players making their way into the cosmos. Mega-collector Yusaku Maezawa plans to take more than a half-dozen members of the public (all of whom, initially, were expected to be artists) to the moon aboard a SpaceX rocket in 2023.