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MTV unveils new Moon Person for 40th anniversary


After 40 years, MTV’s Moon Person trophy is getting a makeover.

The reimagining of the familiar image coincides with the network’s 40th anniversary, which was on Sunday. While the original Moon Person features an astronaut on the moon to planting an MTV flag, the new version, designed by artist Kehinde Wiley, takes a botanical twist. 

In a statement, MTV explained, “Kehinde Wiley’s Moon Person sculpture represents inclusivity and diversity marked by the historical, environmental and nature relevance of the botanicals. The design features botanical vines seamlessly flowing up and around the figure’s legs, body, and arms as a commentary on the ethnic histories that surround America. Each intertwined vine or leaf has a different historical relevance, such as the seeds from African slaves, that are woven into the American tapestry.”

“The sculpture complements Wiley’s forthcoming series of portraits, in which he plans to create paintings featuring his subjects lying on their sides as vines encircle their bodies,” MTV added.

MTV launched on August 1, 1981 with footage of NASA’s Apollo 11 expedition, the spaceflight that landed humans on the moon in 1969. To help commemorate the moment, a life-sized version of Wiley’s Moon Person is also available for public viewing at the Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex.


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