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Alan Bean - First Men: Neil A. Armstrong -  LIMITED EDITION PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop

The work of artist Alan Bean conveys the sense of space travel not only through subject and color but also texture. The tools that once helped him explore the moon, now help him put the moon’s stamp on many of his paintings. Prior to painting the image, Bean covers the painting’s surface with a texturing material. He then uses exact replicas of his Moon boots to make footprints across this surface that are just like all the Apollo boot prints remaining on the moon today. Next he uses the same geology hammer he worked with on the Apollo 12 mission to dig into the painting’s surface. Finally, a sharp edged bit from one of the core tubes is used to make round indentations in the surface.

“I guess every astronaut wanted to be the first man on the Moon. I know I did,” says Alan Bean. “And if we couldn't be the first, we at least wanted to be one of the first. Apollo 11’s crew got the opportunity to make the first attempt. Neil, Buzz and Mike flew a perfect flight and went into the history books; but all 400,000 Americans that helped make Apollo a success are in that history, too.

“I think this painting is exactly how Astronaut Neil Armstrong looked as he took the now-iconic photo of his lunar companion, Buzz Aldrin,” says the artist. “It is the image we would see in Buzz’s gold visor in my painting First Men-Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin - if we could look close enough.”

First Men: Neil A. Armstrong
by Alan Bean

See the Artist Biography
LIMITED EDITION PRINT
Image size: 20 1/2"w x 28"h.
Limited Edition of: 200
Originally Published:
June 2011
$295.00 Also Available As:

MASTERWORK TEXTURED CANVAS
Image size: 30"w x 40"h.
Limited Edition of: 75
$1,350.00


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Alan Bean
Twelve people have walked on the moon. Only one was an explorer artist, Alan Bean—Apollo XII astronaut, commander of Skylab II and artist. Born in 1932 in Wheeler, Texas and in 1950, Alan was selected for an NROTC scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin. Alan was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy in 1955. Holder of eleven world records in space and astronautics, Alan Bean has had a most distinguished peacetime career. His awards include two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, the Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal and the Robert J. Collier Trophy. As part of the Apollo XII crew, he became the fourth of only twelve men ever to walk on the Moon. As the spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II, he set a world record: 24,400,000 miles traveled during the 59-day flight. When he wasn’t flying, Bean always enjoyed painting as a hobby. Attending night classes at St. Mary’s College in Maryland in 1962, Alan experimented with landscapes. During training and between missions as a test pilot and astronaut, he continued private art lessons. On space voyages, his artist’s eye and talent enabled him to document impressions of the Moon and space to be preserved later on canvas. A voracious student, Alan began to immerse himself in polishing his talent with the same intensity he gave to his astronaut training. Inspired by the impressionists and studying under contemporary masters, he is a first-rate artist who is as comfortable rendering sharp realism as he is with portraying subtle emotions through a faceless spacesuit— but there's a bonus: As the only artist who has visited another world, Bean paints with an authenticity and insight completely unique in the entire history of art by creating a palette mirroring his artistic eye. His is a personal portfolio of the golden era of space exploration as viewed by the only artist who has BEEN there. His art reflects the attention to detail of the aeronautical engineer, the respect for the unknown of the astronaut and the unabashed appreciation of a skilled explorer artist. The space program has seen unprecedented achievements and Bean realized that most of those who participated actively in this adventure would be gone in forty years. He knew that if any credible artistic impressions were to remain for future generations, he must paint them now. “My decision to resign from NASA in 1981 was based on the fact that I am fortunate enough to have seen sights no other artist ever has,” Bean said, “and I hope to communicate these experiences through art.” He is pursuing this dream at his home and studio in Houston. Bean’s book, Apollo: An Eyewitness Account, which chronicles his first-person experience as an Apollo astronaut and explorer artist in words and paintings, was received with critical and popular acclaim upon its publication in 1998.


 

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