Artists Magazine

ARTIST ASTRONAUT

Art has always been one of the most integral ways that humankind has documented its accomplishments. Primitive cave paintings depict the animals early humans hunted for food, as well as other aspects of their existence. Eons later, artists turned to paint and other media to chronicle notable events of their time and to render the portraits of important individuals. In so doing, art helped preserve and validate history.

Fifty years ago, however, when Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon, in July 1969, no artists were commissioned to cover it. The remarkable achievement was documented only on film.

Photographs provide facts, but they commonly lack emotional integrity; they cannot tell of an experience but merely reflect a moment. Art, however, sees through the “real” to reveal the inner heart of a memorable journey. Luckily, NASA had within its ranks a talented artist, astronaut Alan Bean, who over a period of

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