Monday, May 4, 2009
The Appeal Of The Astronaut Is Still Alive And Hipper Than Ever
Astronauts, despite the enormous change in their appeal as a career since I was a child, are still in fashion. The Millenials have never even heard of Major Tony Nelson nor have they seen The Right Stuff. And although little boys and girls may not list the profession amongst their wishful futures like they did 30 years ago, the image of the Astronaut is still in vogue as you will see in this post. Whether it's in fashion, fun, art or film, the classic Astronaut is still alive and well.
Astronauts in fashion
Billionaire Boys Club
Pharell William's Billionaire Boys Club (his fashion label he started with with his manager Rob Walker and Japanese fashion icon Nigo in 2005) not only uses the astronaut as their logo, but applies it to tees, sweaters and even jeans. With several different iterations of the icon by different artists, the collection is loaded with astronauts; male, female, funky, retro, psychadelic, you name it. Here's just a few of their huge line adorned with astronauts:
Japanese artist, Rockin’ Jelly Bean created the artwork for this $190.00 sweatshirt of a pin up space girl astronaut for BBC:
To see tons more 'astronaut imagery' clothes from BBC and to purchase, go here.
Mark Ryden Astronaut T-shirts for Hurley.
Low brow artist and cult favorite, Mark Ryden, also uses the image of an astronaut in some of his artwork and now he has created men's and women's t-shirts for Hurley that uses his little astronaut from the lower right hand corner of his 2005 oil painting, Creatrix:
'The Creatrix'' by Mark Ryden; garment dyed and washed tee with woven icon loop label and soft-hand plastisol print. 30 singles ringspun cotton. (images below)
Ryden Juxtapoze Girl's Tomboy T-Shirt (in white or black)
Tomboy tee with enzyme wash, soft hand screenprint, and H icon clip label (images below)
Available in white, men's or women's styles:
And in black, with a larger image, men's or women's styles:
buy them here.
Doma's Astronaut Jesus
Doma's Jesus Astronaut by adfunture comes in 2 full color versions or in three limited flocked versions.
buy them here.
Unkl Unipo series
And Unkl's Unipo series of cosmo knots are sweet little vinyl figurines clad in space suits and helmet:
see them or buy them here.
Buck Rogers Colectible Figure
Introduced at Comic Con, widely anticipated and now available for pre-order is Go Hero's new Buck Rogers 1:6 action figure. A steampunk astronaut if I ever saw one:
pre-order/buy it here.
Mattel has produced several Astronaut Barbie Dolls:
above: Astronaut Barbie dolls, from left, 1963, 1985 and 1994, on display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington. Photo by Greg Gibson/AP
The GI Joe Mercury Astronaut:
buy it here.
And many a dunny, munny, bearbrick and kubrick have been customized to resemble astronauts:
bill mcmullen's astronaut dunny:
bill hewitt's astronaut munny:
custom astronaut trexi
custom Astronaut Munny from kidrobot:
You can even share your bath with an Astronaut rubber duckie.
buy it here.
you can find astronaut teddy bears, dolls and more for sale here
Astronaut tech toys
There's even an Astronaut Mimobot (USB flash drive). Albeit it's a Russian Astronaut (aka Cosmonaut):
buy it here.
Popular animated television series like Family Guy, the Simpsons and South Park have all had their characters as astronauts:
Astronauts in Contemporary Art
Moving away from fashion and into the other artful endeavors, meet Scott Listfield, painter of astronauts (amongst other things):
Visit Scott's site, Astronaut Dinosaur to see more of his work.
Sculptor David Mach created this astronaut from metal coat hangers!
above photo courtesy of Flickr.
Paul Van Zandt's modern Astronaut sculpture:
On deviantART one can see over 6,600 contemporary pieces of astronaut art
Here are a few of my favorites:
above: Peace Thirteen by jasinski
above: Astronaut by dante1411
above: Skeleton Astronaut by amateur1314
above: Street Art Astronaut by Rul00
Astronauts in film
One of my favorite films of all time is The American Astronaut written, directed by and starring Cory McAbee with great music by The Billy Nayer Show. We're talking 'hip' astronaut fare here, no The Right Stuff, Apollo 13 (both great movies) or The Astronaut's Wife.
If you haven't seen this award winning film, you are missing out. Please rent it or better yet, buy the dvd.
Credits for the film:
Casting Director: Anne Goulder, Costume Design: Dawn Weisberg, Production Designer: Geoff Tuttle, Sound Design: Doug McKean, Music by Billy Nayer Show, Musical Director: Bobby Lurie Co-Producer: Michael Krantz, Director of Photography: Mott Hupfel III, Editor: Pete Beaudreau, Produced by: William Perkins, Joshua Taylor and Bobby Lurie Written & Directed by: Cory McAbee, and Developed with the assistance of the Sundance Institute
buy the film on DVD here
The Billy Nayer Show, in which Cory McAbee is also a member, did the music for the film:
buy the soundtrack here.
So, as you can see, the Astronaut is still respectable, heroic and hip.
UPDATE: Relive the APOLLO 11 MISSION
now that we are celebrating the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, be sure to see this amazing site, We Choose The Moon.