Apollo 11 Launch
Observers at the launch of Apollo II which carried three astronauts to the moon in 1969
Painting of people watching the Apollo 11 Launch by Paul Windridge

Apollo 11 Launch_0306
Created 2020 (61cm x 81cm x 2cm)

Paul Windridge oil painting of the launch of Apollo 11 from Cape Kennedy 1969

Apollo 11 Launch_2611
Created 2020 (76cm x 109cm x 2cm)

This graphic, pop-art series of paintings was started around the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969. At the time, photographs were taken of the people watching the launch - I kept the press cuttings which I recently revisited, and these paintings are inspired by those images.

 

The launch was experienced live on TV by millions and was later re-experienced through the media images of the time. The paintings echo this multiplicity and are rendered shifting between stylised flat colours and semi-realism.

 

The event itself is not shown, but instead the immediate witnesses, gazing upward - people dressed in their best, in the styles of the day. They arrived ready for the moment and were the real holders of the truth.

Paul Windridge oil painting of the launch of Apollo 11 1969

Apollo 11 Launch_0307
Created 2020 (86cm x 107cm x 2cm)

Paul Windridge oil painting of the launch of Apollo 11 1969 filming

Apollo 11 Launch_0310
Created 2020 (66cm x 81cm x 2cm)

Oil painting of people observing the Apollo 11 Launch by Paul Windridge sunglasses binoculars

Apollo 11 Launch_4528
Created 2020 (62cm x 81cm x 2cm)

Painting of crowd watching the Apollo 11 Launch by Paul Windridge sunglasses

Apollo 11 Launch_2614
Created 2020 (71cm x 99cm x 2cm)

More about the launch

The primary objective of Apollo 11 was to complete a national goal set by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961: perform a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth.

 

The giant Saturn V AS-506 rocket launched Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin into an initial Earth-orbit.

 

An estimated one million spectators watched the launch of Apollo 11 from the highways and beaches in the vicinity of the launch site. Dignitaries included former president Lyndon B. Johnson with his wife and Vice President Spiro Agnew, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, four cabinet members, 19 state governors, 40 mayors, 60 ambassadors and 200 congressmen.  President Richard Nixon watched the launch from his office in the White House with his NASA liaison officer, Apollo astronaut Frank Borman. 

 

The launch was televised live in 33 countries, with an estimated 25 million viewers in the United States alone. Millions more around the world listened to radio broadcasts.

 

On July 20th 1969, an estimated 650 million people watched the televised moon landing as Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module, walked down the ladder, and heard his voice describe the event as he took "...one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind".

All paintings are oil on canvas and unframed.