Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hey, Mr. Spaceman

Aleksei Leonov, Cosmonaut

Aleksei Arkhipovich Leonov (Russian, 1934- ) was the first human being to walk in space, on 18 March 1965. A great life-defining moment, but how do you follow it? No one can live as a footnote in a history book. Leonov decided to become an artist, often drawing on images from his experiences in space. If this lithograph of a spaceman heading towards the Eiffel Tower – published by Maeght in the art revue Noise in 1991 – has a certain self-taught clumsiness, it makes up for that in authenticity. Can there be a truer “Outsider Art” than that conceived while floating solitary and weightless in the vast chasm of space?

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