THE ART HISTORY OF THE VMA MOONMAN
This coming Sunday, August 28th the MTV VMAs will be held at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Since 1984 some of the most talented musicians in the world have been awarded the now iconic VMA Moonman. In 2014 Spin Magazine named the Moonman the third best trophy of our time behind only the Oscar statuette and the Stanley Cup.
The Moonman statue was originally brought to life by the creative design firm, Manhattan Design — also designers of the original MTV logo which was based on the 1981 MTV animation created by MTV’s first Creative Director, Fred Seibert. This animation was a spin-off of the Apollo 11 landing where Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, hence the award’s name, Moonman. In an interview with Print Magazine Seibert said, “We felt MTV was as big a TV event as ever happened; it was going to change TV that much… We had this idea of copying the biggest TV event in world history — the man walking on the moon — usurp it to ourselves, the juvenile delinquents of MTV."
In 2013 the Moonman got it’s first temporary makeover in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the VMAs. Brooklyn-based artist, KAWS (Brian Donnely) created a Michellin Man inspired design, in addition he created a version of the award that was erected as a statue rising 60 feet tall over the VMA main stage. In 2014 the award was back to it's classic design. In 2015 fashion designer Jeremy Scott gave the Moonman another temporary facelift, providing it a rainbow tint, a peace necklace and winged shoes.
This year the award will be back to it’s original design. After 33 years of the VMAs, amidst shifting media tides and an ever-changing music video landscape the Moonman still retains all of it’s glory.