Customer Review

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fantastic!, 26 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Apollo: an Eyewitness Account by Astronaut/Explorer Artist/Moonwalker Alan (Hardcover)
I actually bought the collector`s signed edition of the book, which have I enjoyed immensely from the outset and have fondly perused on many a day since.
What a fantastic perspective this book gives of the spirit and feelings of a man who has such a key place in moon exploration history, being the fourth man to put his footsteps there.
Apollo officianados will know that Apollo 12 (Bean`s mission) was unusual in that it was the only one not to rely heavily on TV pictures from the surface of the moon. Rather ironically, Bean pointed the camera towards the sun shortly after it was deployed, thereby burning it out! His own efforts to record both himself and his mission commander (the ebullient Pete Conrad) in a joint, remotely taken shot where also frustrated when a timing device that he had intended to use on his Hasselblad stills camera was lost in a sample bag.
So much more is it therefore appropriate that this book puts into one place his briliant canvasses. He may not be a "master" but his art is original both in source and content. He captures the enormity and emotion of the events portrayed, which is no mean task given the nature of his subject matter. How used are we all to seeing feelings so clearly set out on the faces of characters? What crucial role does colour play? The landscape or spacecraft reflected in the visor of the astronaut, or his subtle use of colour (which does not in fact show itself on the surface in reality) convey the meaning that could so easily be lacking from the work of an artist without his unique and currently unrepeatable experiences.
Not only does the book show his own mission (also describing it in text accompanying the pictures) but most of the canvasses reproduced are of the other five landings, so this book is not just an ego jaunt for the author.
If you have an interest in space history, this book will be a superb asset to your collection.
In suggest you should also invest in Light`s immensely impressive "Full Moon" to compare the reality of the astronaut`s own photographs with Bean`s recreations. This is a very interesting exercise, given that Bean makes no bones about the fact that some of his canvasses are based on well-known surface pictures, for example, of John Young and Gene Cernan on Apollo 16 and 17 respectively.
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