Celebrate Yuri's Night with art inspired by the first human in space

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space

Tonight, across the world, people will be going to space-themed parties to celebrate Yuri's Night, an annual event honoring Yuri Gagarin - the first person to survive space flight. Here is a gallery of art celebrating his great adventure.

50 years ago today, Yuri orbited the Earth. He returned home to his native Soviet Union as an international hero, and spent the next 8 years touring the world, touting the USSR's great Cosmonaut program. Though he died in a tragic plane crash in 1969, thousands of artists remember him in art devoted to his flight - and humanity's quest to one day journey far into space and find new homes among the stars. Here we've collected some gorgeous examples of art celebrating Yuri's Night - and Yuri himself.

Want to find a Yuri's Night celebration in your area? They're happening in cities from Bogotá, Columbia, to Mountain View, California. Check the party list on the official Yuri's Night site.

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Top image by Angel Ifc

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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A commemorative stamp celebrating Yuri's flight, from

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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Sculpture at Yuri's Night party. Photo by Declan McCullagh.

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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Soviet architecture inspired by a rocket. Photo by Frederic Chaubin. See more of Chaubin's photography of Soviet architecture.

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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Russia's "Park of Memory," featuring what looks like a crashed space capsule. Photo by Frederic Chaubin. See more of Chaubin's photography of Soviet architecture.

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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Light sculpture from Yuri's Night party, Silicon Valley. Photo by Jason Unbound.

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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Light sculpture from Yuri's Night party, Silicon Valley. Photo by Jason Unbound.

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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Light sculpture from Yuri's Night party, Silicon Valley. Photo by Jason Unbound.

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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A monument to Yuri in Russia. Photo by Slavophile.

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Pablo Picasso painted this for Yuri after his flight in 1961.

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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Yuri postcard, from the 1960s

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1960s Russian poster for Yuri

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By Robert Lindsay. See more from the exhibition, called Countdown to Yuri's Night.

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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"The Raygun Gothic Rocketship," a statue at Yuri's Night Bay Area (now permanently installed in San Francisco). via NASA

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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Russian statue commemorating Yuri. Photo by Yuriy Lapitskiy.

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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By Todd Gardner. See more from the exhibition, called Countdown to Yuri's Night.

Illustration for article titled Celebrate Yuris Night with art inspired by the first human in space
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By Todd Gardner. See more from the exhibition, called Countdown to Yuri's Night.

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DISCUSSION

Corpore Metal

I know it's rather sterile and creepily totalitarian but I think the prefer the Soviet Realist depictions of Gagarin best. They just seem the most futuristic and optimistic. The Soviets just kicked the world's ass in high tech and the heavens were now open for a new socialist world. Heady days.