Jeff Koons Launches His Art to the Moon, and Other News 

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“Moon Phases” by Jeff Koons. Image courtesy of Jeff Koons

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Jeff Koons Launches Sculptures to the Moon 

Last week, after a series of fits and starts, a SpaceX rocket carrying 125 miniature moon sculptures by Jeff Koons finally departed from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Aboard a lunar lander designed by aerospace company Intuitive Machines, the sculptures—each representing a phase of the moon and dedicated to people who’ve influenced life on Earth—are expected to reach the moon’s surface this week. The initiative, known as “The Moon Phases Project,” will also have an earthly component that involves minting NFTs available through Pace Verso, the gallery’s NFT program. 

“I grew up listening to President Kennedy speak about going to the moon,” Koons told the New York Times before takeoff. “It gave our society a vision and drive that we could believe in ourselves and accomplish things.” While the sculptures represent the first authorized artworks placed on the moon, they aren’t the first artworks to be launched into space. In 2021, Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafo painted a triptych on the exterior panels of a rocket as part of Uplift Aerospace’s art program. —Ryan Waddoups

Untitled Art 2021 in Miami Beach. Photography by Casey Kelbaugh

Untitled Art has been acquired by South Florida Ventures’ luxury lifestyle portfolio.

South Florida Ventures, a portfolio focused on luxury lifestyle brands in Florida, has acquired Untitled Art, the independent fair held annually in Miami Beach alongside Art Basel. Despite the acquisition, Untitled Art founder Jeffrey Lawson and his team will retain control, gaining access to additional resources to expand the fair’s platform, curatorial team, and year-round events. While there are no immediate plans to expand to other cities, this partnership signifies a major step forward for the fair, aligning with its ambitions for growth and innovation within the art market. The acquisition marks another instance of consolidation within the art fair industry, following similar moves by Frieze, which acquired the Armory Show and EXPO Chicago.

The Art Institute of Chicago receives a major donation to launch a photography center.

The Art Institute of Chicago has announced a landmark donation of $25 million from the Bucksbaum family to establish the new Bucksbaum Photography Center, which will serve as the home for the museum’s Department of Photography and Media and its extensive collection. This donation marks the largest ever received by the museum for its photography department and is one of the largest sums dedicated to photography in any U.S. museum. “I have an abiding passion and appreciation for the power of photography and media,” Kay Bucksbaum, a longtime museum trustee, said in a statement. “This gift from our family is an investment in the future of the department at the museum and the curators who are moving this field forward.” The museum’s photography collection includes thousands of works by the likes of Diane Arbus, Dawoud Bey, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and Alfred Stieglitz.

Cècred’s inaugural product line. Image courtesy of Cècred

Beyoncé unveils the first eight products of her newly launched Cécred hair care line.

Beyoncé and Cécred unveiled their inaugural hair care line yesterday, debuting eight products inspired by global hair traditions and Tina Knowles’ Houston salon. The lineup includes a range of essentials from Clarifying Shampoo to a Reconstructing Treatment Mask infused with Bioactive Keratin Ferment technology. Priced between $30 and $52, the products are available only on Cécred’s e-commerce site. Experts including Beyoncé’s stylist Neal Farinah and trichologist Dr. Kari Williams are onboard, with Knowles serving as the brand’s vice chairwoman.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic Wayfarers chapel closes amid California’s intense storms.

The historic Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, celebrated for its picturesque setting and midcentury design by Frank Lloyd Wright, has been forced to close indefinitely due to ground shifting beneath the structure as a result of Southern California’s intense storms. A popular wedding venue, the chapel’s closure has disrupted plans for event organizers and prompted efforts such as a GoFundMe campaign by Reverend Dr. David Brown to raise funds for restoration. This closure underscores the broader coastal concerns in Southern California, with infrastructure and iconic sites facing threats from erosion and extreme weather events.

The Saltzman Family Foundation announces a new prize for emerging photographers.

The Saltzman Family Foundation and the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) have announced the shortlist of 10 nominees for the inaugural Saltzman Prize, recognizing the Emerging Photographer of the Year. Established by New York–based photographer and philanthropist Lisa Saltzman in collaboration with CPW, the award offers a $10,000 prize and supports a solo exhibition of the recipient’s work at PHOTOFAIRS New York in September. Nominators for this year’s prize include prominent figures such as MoMA curator Oluremi Onabanjo and photographer Deana Lawson, while the jury comprises esteemed individuals like MacArthur fellow Deborah Willis and Susan Meiselas, President of the Magnum Foundation. Nominees for the inaugural prize include Hady Barry, Eric Gyamfi, Patrice Aphrodite Helmar, Nhu Xuan Hua, Hailun Ma, Rory Mulligan, Trina Michelle Robinson, Keisha Scarville, Caroline Tompkins, and Wilfred Upkong. 

“Mire Lee: Black Sun” at the New Museum. Photography by Dario Lasagni, courtesy of the New Museum

Today’s attractive distractions:

Quadrillions of ants have created a turbulent society shadowing our own.

Here’s a rare glimpse at how Michelangelo’s David is kept squeaky clean.

The slaughterhouse has become an enduring motif in contemporary art.

Near-record winds are propelling transatlantic planes to record speeds.

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