The Moonwalk complete portfolio by Andy Warhol was printed in 1987 by Rupert Jasen Smith in New York. The series depicts Neil Armstrong’s famous photograph of Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. walking on the moon for the first time in 1969 during the Apollo 11 mission. The Moonwalk suite demonstrates both Warhol’s artistic talent and his ability to create art and permanence out of intangible moments.
The first manned mission on the moon represents an unparalleled achievement of humanity and technology, as well as one of the most impressive feats in American history. The victory over the Soviet Union during the Space Race conjures ideas of the American Dream and the whirlwind of social and technological progress of the 1960s. The incredible accomplishment contributes to the idea of American exceptionalism, or the notion of the intrinsic superiority of the United States, which Warhol explores throughout his works, such as the Cowboys and Indians and Ads portfolios.
This series of two screenprints in the Moonwalk portfolio illustrate Warhol’s artistic maturation, which typifies his work created in the 1980s. Throughout his work in his final years, Warhol begins to pivot from depicting commercial subjects American culture to representing historically important subjects and ideas specific to the time. The Moonwalk complete portfolio includes FS II.404-405.