The contemporary art enthusiast, Yusaku Maezawa, announced that he would invite “six or eight artists” to join him in the SpaceX company ship in 2023.
The American space company SpaceX announced on Monday, September 17, that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, 42, founder of a major fashion site and collector of contemporary art, would be the first private passenger to travel around the Moon in 2023.
“I will invite six or eight artists from all over the world to join me in this mission,” he said, after being introduced by SpaceX boss Elon Musk at the company’s headquarters in California. “They will have to create something when they return to Earth. Their masterpieces will inspire all the dreamers inside us,” he said that going to the moon was his childhood dream.
Passionate about contemporary art
Mr. Maezawa also claimed to have paid for all the seats on board the BFR rocket, which SpaceX is building, but without revealing the price. His assets are estimated at $3 billion (€2.6 billion), according to Forbes.
He had admired SpaceX in the past, especially in February, after the successful launch of the large Falcon Heavy rocket. “I am moved to have been able to participate in this event on the spot,” he tweeted.
The businessman saw himself as a rocker in his youth. But in 1998, he eventually created Start Today, which owns the Zozotown clothing store.
An art lover, he bought a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat in 2017 for $110.5 million. He had already acquired works by Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder or Jeff Koons. He has also created a foundation to support artistic production and raise public awareness and now aims to launch a museum of contemporary art in his city of Chiba, east of Tokyo.