Italian-American Greenville artist recalls capturing space histo - FOX Carolina 21

Italian-American Greenville artist recalls capturing space history in paintings

Posted: Updated:
Renato Moncini reflects on his work, which depicts American space exploration (FOX Carolina) Renato Moncini reflects on his work, which depicts American space exploration (FOX Carolina)
Renato Moncini, left, with FOX Carolina's Andrew Reeser (FOX Carolina) Renato Moncini, left, with FOX Carolina's Andrew Reeser (FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Renato Moncini's face lights up as he recounts his experiences painting iconic moments of American history, such as the moment Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon.

His paintings are displayed in the Upcountry History Museum, and he is known as "the first artist of space."

"It's a pretty glamorous title, I don't know if I deserve that, but I enjoy it," said Moncini.

Born in Pisa, Italy, he was an engineer in the Italian Air Force. He moved to the United States in 1960, at the dawn of the U.S. space exploration era. Moncini was always interested in space, but he said before Armstrong's walk on the moon, not much was known as to what it looked like.

"There was a lot of improvisation," he said, noting his early works were more abstract and futuristic.

Then came the photographs of those iconic moments.

Some of his paintings hang in the Smithsonian Institute. The ones hanging in Greenville's museum depict the scenes of the anticipation of NASA's most famous launches, including the ill-fated Apollo 13.

Terry Norris of the T.L. Norris Gallery in Greenville, said Moncini's works will stand the test of time, and will be the definitive depictions of America's space accomplishments.

"The painting that stands out in my mind is the one of Washington crossing the Delaware during the Revolutionary War," he said. "In another 100 years, these paintings representing Armstrong walking on the moon will be as historic if not more so."

Moncini moved to Greenville in 1974 to work for Fluor Daniel. He has lived there ever since.

His painting of Astronaut Charles Duke on the moon during the Apollo 16 mission is up for auction at the T.L. Norris Gallery. The proceeds will benefit the gallery and the Upcountry History Museum.

For more information, tlnorrisgallery.com.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Powered by WorldNow
Fox Carolina
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, WHNS; Greenville, SC. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.