Uplift Aerospace is delighted to announce the inaugural launch of the ‘Suborbital Triptych’ series, which will propel specially commissioned works of art into space. The first triptych painted by renowned Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo, will be launched into space, on August 26, 2021 from the Blue Origin launch facility near Van Horn, Texas by Uplift Aerospace.
The ‘Suborbital Triptych’ series is a collaboration between Uplift Aerospace, a pioneering technology company in the aerospace industry, and Blue Origin, a privately-funded space company and manufacturer of reusable launch vehicles and engines, and is the first of many initiatives of the Uplift ‘Art x Space’ Program. The ‘Art x Space’ Program is curated for Uplift Aerospace by Magnet Empyrean and its founder Jill Clark.
At 8:35 am CDT on August 26, ‘New Shephard’, Blue Origin’s reusable suborbital rocket, travelled into space with a specially commissioned triptych by the renowned Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo painted on the top of the crew capsule on the main chute covers.
When this triptych of painted rocket panels launches, Boafo will be the first artist from the African continent to have created an artwork propelled into space.
Josh Hanes, Uplift Aerospace’s CEO, says: “I’m inspired by the idea that this incredible artwork will be lit by distant galaxies, with Earth as a backdrop. I hope this will allow viewers a closer connection with the cosmos and the precious planet we call home.”
On behalf of Blue Origin, Erika Wagner says: “We’re honored to fly Amoako’s works of art to space and back on board New Shepard. His stunning portraits capture Black joy and the kind of shared future we hope to create for us all in space: vibrant, beautiful, and full of wonder.”
Boafo’s ‘Suborbital Triptych’
Rendered in the artist’s signature, bold painting style, Boafo’s triptych—Self Portrait with Pink Tulips (2021), Shormeh’s Gold Earrings (2021) and White and Gold Head Wrap (2021)—comprises intimate portraits, including his mother; the mother of his childhood friend and international artist, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe; and the artist himself.
Boafo says: “A self-portrait looking up to the skies best explains what this project means to me. I grew up knowing the sky was the limit and now I get to work on a project that goes beyond the sky as we know it. This signifies what is possible when creatives like myself are given the chance to not only break the glass ceiling but go above it.”
Referring to the portraits of his and Otis’s mother, Boafo continues: “My mother has always been a backbone in shaping my dreams as an artist. In Ghana, where I grew up, it is said that a mother’s love comes from a place ‘out of this world’. These works are an ode to motherhood for there are not enough words that best describe a mother’s love and support.”
Boafo worked with a high-grade paint that can sustain the voyage into space. Recalling the experience and challenge of using it, he says: “The paint had an unusually strong smell, so I wore a nose mask the entire time during production. It was watery, so the panels had to be laid flat on the table to avoid unwanted marks. As it dried so fast, I had to work quickly to avoid it drying before the painting was done.”
Intrigued by the specific qualities of the paint, Boafo is keen to work with some of the colors in future artworks: “I decided to keep the gold, bronze and silver paints because I am curious to see how they react on different surfaces than the one I worked on.”
Uplift Gives Back
For every commissioned Suborbital Triptych that is launched as part of the ‘Art x Space’ Program, Uplift Aerospace will make a donation to charities of the artist’s choosing. Boafo has selected Little Big Souls, which strives to reduce death and disability for preterm babies in Africa, and Love’s Closet Foundation, which supports the healthcare and development of children in Ghana.
About Amoako Boafo
Amoako Boafo (born 1984 in Accra, Ghana; based in Vienna, Austria) is a highly regarded voice in contemporary art of the African Diaspora, shaping perceptions of Black forms and dispositions in a global context. Boafo studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and in 2017 was recognized with the jury prize of Austria’s prestigious Walter Koschatzky Art-Award. Widely collected and exhibited by public institutions and private collections, his works were recently acquired by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Albertina Museum Vienna, and the Rubell Museum. Featured among emerging leaders in the TIME 100 Next 2021, Boafo is also an ambassador for Dior as the first African to collaborate with the legendary fashion house, the summer 2021 menswear line breaking records for Dior Homme.
About Uplift Aerospace
An emerging leader in the rapidly transforming space industry, Uplift Aerospace is pioneering revolutionary systems to manufacture, trade, and deliver products for a multiplanetary economy while strengthening humanity’s connection with the universe. Its dynamic fusion of scientific technology, creative innovation, and business strategy reflect the boundless ingenuity and passion for discovery that propel space exploration. Uplift’s core endeavors focus on developing advanced technology for lunar construction; visionary artworks curated to interpret and interact with the cosmos; and the premiere in-space marketplace for rare collections and unique design objects. The Uplift Art x Space Program and philanthropic initiative Uplift for Good are expanding horizons while promoting a sustainable future on Earth.