Tom Sachs Discusses Boombox Culture at His Brooklyn Museum Show

July 19, 2016  |  Art, Music

Bringing his tally of simultaneous major New York museum shows to two (his excellent Tea Ceremony is currently on view at the Noguchi Museum), Tom Sachs‘ newly-opened Boombox Retrospective at the ultra-progressive Brooklyn Museum is every bit as cool as it sounds. An overview spanning the years 1999-2015, the project demonstrates the artist’s unique, imaginative, and rigorous DIY aesthetic and is comprised largely of works that riff on the idea of the “boombox,” the iconic emblem of 1980s hip-hop culture. A music lover and connoisseur himself, Sachs has recently constructed a series of ceramic boomboxes in a variety of sizes. As functional works of art, these boomboxes – along with other works on view in the exhibition – actually work and feature a collection of playlists curated by pop icons and friends of the artist.

For Sachs, the body of work was a labor of love. “I have been making boomboxes since childhood,” the artist explains. “I hooked my Sony Walkman up to a set of mini speakers and velcroed them to a block of scrap plywood. It was a clusterfuck of wires. In 8th grade woodshop, I made a box for the whole mess out of pine. It had a knob to hang the headphones that was made out of a broomstick. I’ve always had sound systems, whether in a car or in my life. Being a nerdy, lonely guy, I’ve maybe put too much energy in it. Currently, there are more boomboxes than ever before. Then again, I consider a laptop a boombox.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.07.54 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.08.12 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 9.34.03 PM
Swizz, Sachs, & lady friends rock the BK

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.08.18 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.08.26 PM
A man & his sound system…

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.08.04 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.08.35 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.08.43 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.09.10 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.09.18 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 11.18.39 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.09.29 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.09.37 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.09.46 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.09.53 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.10.01 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.10.19 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.10.28 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.10.35 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.10.51 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.10.09 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.10.58 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.11.21 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.11.28 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.11.37 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.11.43 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.11.55 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 10.51.15 AM
Sachs stops by the Bodega…

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.12.05 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.12.15 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.12.22 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.12.27 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.12.32 PM



Comments are closed.