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Apollo 11 Launch

Observers at the Kennedy Space Centre launch of Apollo II which carried three astronauts to the moon in 1969

Apollo 11 Launch_0306
Created 2020
(61cm x 81cm x 2cm)
Apollo 11 Launch_0307
Created 2020
(86cm x 107cm x 2cm)

This graphic, pop-art series of paintings was started around the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969. This series of paintings which shift between stylised flat colours and semi-realism is inspired by photographs taken of the dignitaries watching the launch. 

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.

Apollo 11 Launch_4528
Created 2020
(62cm x 81cm x 2cm
Apollo 11 Launch_2025
Created 2023
(80cm x 97cm x 2cm)
Apollo 11 Launch_2029
Created 2020
(76cm x 109cm x 2cm)

All paintings are oil on canvas and unframed.

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”.

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