April 12th: anniversaries galore

Thirty years ago today NASA launched Columbia, STS-1, into space. It had only two people on board, John Young and Robert Crippin.

Fifty years ago today the Russians launched Vostok-1 into space, and along with it the first human, Yuri Gagarin. He orbited Earth one time.

One hundred fifty years ago today the Confederate Army attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, kicking off the Civil War.


Dramatization of Yuri Gagarin’s first flight on Vostok 1, excerpted from the BBC documentary series Space Race.

Sneak peek at one of the final prints from Ravi Zupa and Arna Miller to be released next Friday, February 6th at a random time. Thanks to everybody who has picked up one of the previous prints. Sign up for our mailing list to be notified when they become available. @raviamarzupa @arnamiller #ravizupa #blackbookgallery #yurigagarin #contemporaryart

From Ravi Zupa: “Yuri Gagarin was the first Human being to enter outer space. His first communication back to earth which was simply, “Five minutes, flight is normal” Is such an important few words in Russian speaking countries that it is often quoted in a similar way to that of Neil Armstrong’s “One small step for man” here in the United States” - Print available tomorrow at a random time on our website. @raviamarzupa #ravizupa @arnamiller #blackbookgallery #contemporaryart #yurigagarin

Today I turned 25 years old. 👵🎈But most importantly it is the birthday of 2 people I’ve looked up to since I was a child. First, Bobby Fischer because we have that one thing in common where we give zero fucks about what people think of us. (hopefully I won’t go nuts like him and end up wearing Tin foil hats) Second Yuri Gagarin because, of course, I wanted to be a bad ass cosmonaut for as long as I can remember 🌌 And on my 5th birthday, Charles Bukowski died. 😞 which I didn’t really care about at the the time because I was far too young to appreciate his writing, obviously. But now that I can, All I have to say is “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” #charlesbukowski #yurigagarin #bobbyfischer #rip #happybirthday

The Russian Cosmonaut
"So the Cosmonaut, he’s the first man ever to go into space, right? The Russians beat the Americans.

So he goes up in this big spaceship, but the only habitable part of it is very small. So the Cosmonaut’s in there and he’s got this portal window, and he’s looking out of it. And, he sees the curvature of the Earth for the first time. The first man to ever look at the planet he’s from, and, he’s lost in that moment.

And all of a sudden this strange ticking keeps coming out of the dashboard. So he rips out the control panel, takes out his tools: trying to find this sound, trying to stop this sound.

But he can’t find it, he can’t stop it. He keeps going, a few hours into this, it begins to feel like torture. A few days go by with this sound, and he knows that this small sound will break him.

He’ll lose his mind. What’s he gonna do? He’s up in space, alone, in a space closet. He’s got 25 days left to go, with this sound.

So the Cosmonaut decides the only way to save his sanity is to fall in love with this sound. So he closes his eyes, and he goes into his imagination. And when he opens them, he doesn’t hear ticking anymore.

He hears music. And he spends the remainder of his time, sailing through space in total bliss and peace.”