Last Wednesday, three portraits painted by the Vienna-based Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo were launched from Texas into space. They floated in the void before coming back down to Earth just eleven minutes later. The launch of the “Suborbital Triptych” (2021) was a collaboration between the Jeff Bezos-owned aerospace company Blue Origin and the aerospace technology company Uplift AeroSpace.
The three portraits were painted directly onto pieces of a Blue Origin rocket and made with space grade paints. The paintings—Self Portrait with Pink, Tulips, Shormeh’s Gold Earrings and White and Gold Head Wrap—depicted Boafo, his mother, and the mother of a close friend. Upon their return, the paintings were all recovered and appeared to be in good shape.