Artist Richard Clar’s canvas is literally out of this world. And on July 21, the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s Giant Step, Clar will return his words to the moon. From the Observatory of Côte d’Azur, the famous phrase of the astronaut will be transmitted by an encoded laser beam and bounced off a retro-reflector deposited in 1969 on the lunar surface by Armstrong and Aldrin, returning the light beam back to Earth.
With a panache and vision, American Richard Clar is one of the great artists of space art, or cosmic art, for the last thirty years. The influence of this historical moment, continues to echo in our hearts and imaginations, fueling and inspiring our vision of the future.
His latest work, Giant Step, utilizes the Laser Telescope at Cote d’Azur Observatory, Grasse (MeO) laser-ranging station in Calern, France. On July 21, at precisely 02:56:15 UTC, the time of Armstrong’s first step on the Moon, Clar and the team at the Observatory will direct a narrow laser beam at a tiny target, located at a distance of 238,900 miles away. Pulsed through that beam of light will be the words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Capturing the reflection of that moment, literally and figuratively, encapsulates, at the speed of light, the historically impact we are still experiencing.
This commemorative artwork, employing arguably the most distant canvas in history, will celebrate the moment life on earth changed forever; as humans, for the first time, walked on a celestial body other than our mother planet.