Tom Sachs

Tom Sachs | USA | "Official Montblanc Authorized Trade" | 2002 | 55 cm x 55 cm | Wooden panel

New York-born artist Tom Sachs (b. 1966) began his career as an assistant to architect Frank O. Gehry. Like Gehry, whom he sees as a sculptor, New York resident Tom Sachs is an architectural designer – but of whole worlds, utopias of modern times, in which contemporary consumer culture and historical references intersect. Controversially received works, such as “Prada Death Camp” (1998) – one of the label’s hat boxes transformed into a model of a concentration camp – or the installation “Nutsy’s” (2002), for which the artist built a 400-square-metre urban cosmos with models of motorways, ghettos and McDonald’s restaurants, showcase Sachs’ searing, ironic dissection of contemporary consumer culture. Sachs attaches particular importance to the use of “poor” materials, such as polystyrene and paper, which are elevated from the status of throwaway products to art.

For Montblanc, Sachs created a space-travel sculpture made of hard PVC foam board entitled “Big Lunar Module” (2002), with which he emphasises the fragile and playful side of the multimillion-dollar originals that inspired his work, as well as the mural “Official Montblanc Authorized Trade”, a fantasy ready-made of the remainders of an imaginary transport container of apparently second-hand wooden planks stamped with an invented Montblanc seal.