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Painting around the moon

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Max Denison-Pender wants to join the SpaceX mission around the moon in 2023 to paint in space.

Video Transcript

- Now, from painting the stars to painting among them-- well, that's the ambition of young artist Max Denison-Pender. He hopes to join Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa's mission around the moon in 2023 and paint in space. Mr. Maezawa has invited eight members of the public to join him for a trip around the moon on Elon Musk's SpaceX flight in two years' time. And Max is hoping to be one of them.

Let us join him now. Good afternoon. Why on Earth do you want to leave terra firma?

MAX DENISON-PENDER: Good afternoon, Nick. Thank you for having me. So it's been my ambition since I can remember. When I was young, I had stars all over my bedroom and been-- been a painter since-- since I can remember. So the idea to, say, paint in space that, you know, you're in this nothingness like no-- no artist has ever been.

And one of my favorite artists, like Turner, he used to tie himself to the mast of a boat to see the storm. I can imagine if he was in our time today, he would jump at the opportunity. And I just can't miss the opportunity like that. So I am saying to Yusaku Maezawa's, take me to space.

- What do you think it's going to be like?

MAX DENISON-PENDER: I think it's going to be something out of this world. I mean, the perspective that only a very small handful of people on this earth have ever witnessed to then be translated by my paintbrush is an experience that-- that will-- will change my mind and change my, you know, my sort of imagination, my concept of the world forever. And-- and I think my-- my original ambition was to be the first artist on the moon. And so I thought this is the best way to be most qualified to be on the moon. So, yeah.

- Have you put your application form in?

MAX DENISON-PENDER: I have. I have. And I started my campaign a week before he announced he wanted to let all creatives come on-- come on board. So he's now released a sort of sign-up so all creatives can come. And I'm saying that I need to be that artist he takes.

And one of the biggest things that drew me to it was the fact that he wants to use this gig to promote world peace. And for me, that means a lot. And I thought, you know, I'm the man. I've dedicated my whole life to my painting. I mean, it's seven days a week. And if anyone is going to be on that bloody rock, it's going to be me.

- Well, we-- I know you're excited, but we-- it may be a step too far slightly with that word. So let's-- yes, don't worry. And now, I want to ask you-- what's been the reaction from people to your aspiration? Maybe, perhaps, tell me what your mom thought?

MAX DENISON-PENDER: So I've been receiving quite a lot of support, really. Piers Morgan, very funny, got behind me and shared the video-- a few influencers.

And really, I think people appreciate dreaming big. You know, I think so many people aren't willing to dare to dream big. And for me, whether or not this campaign gets his attention-- I hope it does-- but in the end of the day, I was told all my life that being an artist was a bad idea. You can't make a living out of it.

And I've-- I've sort of proved them all wrong. So I'm all about telling everyone to chase their dreams. And so if this is a message I can get across by doing this, that's a win for me.

- And your mom, in particular, what-- what's family had to say?

MAX DENISON-PENDER: So they're-- they're all behind it. I mean, my mom was-- they were all like, OK, Max, can you leave some paintings with us in case the-- in case there's a one-way ticket. But, you know, it's all in love.

But they're very much live-- live life as it is, you know. You've got to. Life is short. I could go and get a coffee from a mall cafe and get hit by a bus, you know. So that's just how life is. And then, you can't-- I don't want to have any regrets.

And I'm truly following all SpaceX's progress. I truly think Elon Musk is the man for the job, and he will do this. You know, he's landing a rocket the same size of the Big Bang. And it landed last time. And it-- unfortunately, it blew up about five minutes after it landed. But, you know, next time around, I think it's going to land.

- Right. Well, good luck. Let us know how you get on. But for now, Max Denison-Pender, thanks a lot.

MAX DENISON-PENDER: All the best. Thanks for having me, mate.

- Thank you.