Jeff Koons has announced his first-ever NFT project presented by Pace Verso, the Web3 arm of Pace Gallery. Titled Jeff Koons: Moon Phases, this debut NFT collection marks Koons’s highly anticipated entrance into the metaverse.
The project will explore the imagination and technological innovation of the human race. Revelling in past and future human achievements, the artist has drawn inspiration from the Moon as a symbol of curiosity and determination. Hopeful and transcendent, the project offers viewers a sense of perspective about their place in the vast universe, encouraging profound reflection and contemplation.
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. 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.Jeff Koons
About the Artwork
Centring on the Moon as a symbol of human curiosity and the desire to achieve, Jeff Koons: Moon Phases comprises 125 unique works, each consisting of three components: a sculpture that will be installed on the Moon in perpetuity, a sculpture that will stay on the Earth, and an NFT that corresponds with the sculptures on the Moon and the Earth. Later this year, 125 sculptures from Jeff Koons: Moon Phases will make a lunar landing on an Intuitive Machines Nova-C Lunar Lander, to be launched on pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in a fully autonomous mission.
Moon Phases is Koons’s most ambitious work to date. The works in Jeff Koons: Moon Phases each correspond to a distinct phase of the Moon—62 phases of the Moon as seen from the Earth, 62 views of the Moon as seen from different vantage points in space, and one lunar eclipse.
The artworks within Moon Phases are each associated with people who have made accomplishments in human history. The list of names is universal, including individuals from various parts of the world, fields, and time periods, with Plato, Nefertiti, Artemisia Gentileschi, Andy Warhol, Gabriel García Márquez, Mahatma Gandhi, Sojourner Truth, Leonardo da Vinci, Ada Lovelace, David Bowie, and Helen Keller among them. These and other names will be individually displayed in front of the Moon Phases, memorializing the figures on the occasion of the Moon mission. In this way, Koons honours some of the greatest achievements of the past to inspire future generations.
The 125 miniature Moon sculptures, each approximately one inch in diameter, will be displayed together on the Moon in a sustainably built, fully transparent, compartmentalized cube. Grouped together, the different Moon Phases, along with the names associated with each phase, represent a collective.
Each unique NFT is paired with a sculpture that will reside on the Moon within the cube and a sculpture that will reside on the Earth, cultivating connections between the digital and physical worlds. The NFT itself will feature an image of the sculptures installed on the Moon’s surface, along with other images, and will be the only component of the artwork that features Jeff Koons’s iconic signature.
The project also includes 125 larger sculptures depicting the Moon that will be approximately 15.5 inches tall and remain on the Earth. These large spheres of the Moon with its detailed surface will be mirror reflective stainless-steel—like Koons’s iconic Rabbit—with transparent colours depicting the colours of the Moon’s surface, enabling viewers to enter a dialogue with the artwork and the individual whose name is associated with each phase of the Moon. With these works, Koons continues to explore themes of connectivity and acceptance, which have become hallmarks of his practice.
The sculptures remaining on the Earth will feature a small precious stone, either a ruby, emerald, sapphire, or diamond. The stone’s position on the sculptures will indicate the location of the landing site on the Moon, which will become a Lunar Heritage Site where the related Moon sculptures will be installed permanently.
Deeply engaged with Koons’s storied and inventive sculptures, including his Equilibrium series and stainless-steel Rabbit sculpture from the 1980s, Jeff Koons: Moon Phases heralds the next era of the artist’s career. Through the Equilibrium works, which feature basketballs in the centre of water-filled tanks, Koons created highly innovative installations informed by the work of Marcel Duchamp and in dialogue with his Nike posters. The formal qualities of Equilibrium—along with the series’ focus on aspiration and accomplishment—can be understood in dialogue with the Moon Phases sculptures. With his NFT project, the artist explores new frontiers of sculpture and reimagines modes of digital artmaking. Koons, who has been a radical force in the arts for more than four decades, challenges convention once again with Moon Phases.
Koons’s NFT will be presented by Pace Verso in partnership with the project’s initiators, Patrick Colangelo of NFMoon and Chantelle Baier of 4Space. NFMoon is a specialized digital arts and technology company. 4Space, which designed and built the cube in consultation with Koons, is a multi-level space company that is strategically involved with NASA and Intuitive Machines. NFMoon and 4Space approached Koons with the idea of sending his artwork to the Moon because of his ability to bridge art and science, reflecting the boundary-pushing capabilities and expansive possibilities of the humanities. Jeff Koons: Moon Phases brings together leaders in the scientific and creative fields, and Pace Verso is proud to be a part of bringing Koons’s visionary ideas to fruition.
Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C Lunar Lander will bring Koons’s sculptures to the Moon as part of a mission carrying NASA payloads. Former NASA Astronaut and current Intuitive Machines Vice President Jack Fischer says, “The Intuitive Machines team is passionate about this historic project. Koons’s sculptures will be the first authorized artworks to be placed on the surface of the Moon, where they will remain in perpetuity.” Koons’s sculptures will be bound for Oceanus Procellarum. This mission, set for later this year, will mark 50 years since America’s last crewed trip to the Moon.
As a longtime champion of artists’ innovative and boundary-pushing ideas, Pace is thrilled to present Jeff Koons’s first NFT project, which is one of the most ambitious and momentous endeavors the gallery has ever presented. Jeff, who has made an indelible mark on the history of art through his iconic sculptures and paintings, is one of the most significant artists worldwide. 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.CEO Marc Glimcher
jeffkoonsmoonphases.com is the official destination for the latest details on the project, to track the journey of Koons’s sculptures to the Moon.
A limited number of Jeff Koons: Moon Phases will be available for sale through Pace, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the tenth primary sale in the series will be donated to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in support of the organization’s medical humanitarian aid programs. In the weeks to come, further details about Jeff Koons: Moon Phases will be revealed on the project’s dedicated website, highlighting the artworks, artistic and technical processes, and associated charitable and space partners. For more information, join the community on Pace Verso’s newly launched Discord and follow @PaceGallery on Twitter and Instagram.
Jeff Koons has cultivated his highly influential artworks over the course of more than four decades. Through his famed stainless-steel sculptures and paintings that engage with popular culture, mass media, and art history, the artist has played a key role in shaping contemporary aesthetics. Koons’s work, which often forges connections between images and ideas across geographic and temporal boundaries, can be understood in conversation with Conceptual art, Minimalism, and Pop art. His artworks can be found in the collections of major museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Broad, Los Angeles; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Tate, London; the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and many other institutions.