ARTIST OR ASTRONAUT
BY: JC Rodriguez
Tom Sachs is a self described former looser. He was a D average student, wasn't into sports, socially awkward and didn't belong to any clicks during high school. Like many good stories, this all changed in college when he met a girl. During his first semester, he took a sculpting class where his soon would be girlfriend taught him to use a welding machine. He was in love, but she dumped him and left him with the welding machine. Broken hearted and armed with a set of tools, he began creating art and hadn't stopped since.
Tom Sachs is one of the most successful American artists of our time. His work is easily recognizable with multiple series of Space Programmed themed work as his subject. Americana and our consumer culture are recurring themes in his work.
Tom Sachs was born in New York City on July 26, 1966 and grew up in Westport, Connecticut. His career took off in the mid 1990s when he had his first solo show, "Cultural Prosthetics." But it was his work in the "Space Program" that brought him transcending recognition.
With an obsession of the Apollo space program of the 60s and 70s, Sachs began creating him own space program here on earth. From lunar modules, to female astronauts Sachs would create a full on experience of his crew landing on the moon with Sachs in mission control. Recreating the scene in different missions. The work would consist of a multitude of sculptures. His artwork looks worked on. With exposed screws and nails, Sachs explains “If I left a fingerprint on it, then people can say that’s Sachs fingerprint.” In 2012 he created another mission, this time to Mars. The exhibit was displayed as the Park Avenue Armory in New York.
Collaborations and influence
Sachs has been involved in a multitude of collaborations from sneakers to furniture. In 2017 the Mars Yard Nike Shoe 2.0 was released by Nike. A shoe designed by Sachs to be part of the Mars mission. If you’d like a pair of these Nike sneakers, be prepared to spend thousands of dollars. Also in 2017, Sachs created a living room for the Design Miami fair during Art week in Miami. The furniture was made so strong that it could withstand bullets. The room completed with a United States wood art piece with exposed nails. In 2018 the United States Olympic Committee asked Sachs and winter gear company Burton to design the uniforms for the Snowboarding team in Korea. The team looked like astronauts coming down the slopes.
Tom Sachs is an American original. His work will continue to transcend art and influence other artist and fashion along the way. He’s come a long way from the days he considered himself a looser.
"THE reward for good work
is more work"