“In American handmade paintings I find my identity as a skeptical patriot,” says New York-based artist Tom Sachs about his new solo exhibition, which opened this Saturday at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris.
Skepticism and the medley of contradictions are very much at the core of the artist’s universe: rooted in bricolage, a French word for DIY, Tom Sachs first became known for his remix of heavy artillery and fashion brands back in 1995 when a handmade grenade branded with the exclusive Hermés logo was exhibited as part of his first major solo show, “Cultural Prosthetics” at New York’s Morris-Healy Gallery. Since then the conceptual artist’s resume includes more than 15 solo exhibitions worldwide (and of course numerous contributions to Visionaire).
“It’s hard not to be proud of the space program going to the moon… and ashamed that we abandoned our cosmic exploration there. It’s also easy to see it as an achievement for all mankind. The myth making of the ISS is that we are all ONE coming in peace from planet earth or at least to defend against a common Alien attack. This planetary tribalism has natural roots in the team sports that globally dominate our fashions. Maybe a missing icon from this show would have been a Yankees cap (but I come from a family of Mets fans),” Sachs says about his new exhibition.
“American Handmade Paintings” is an exploration of consumerism, corporate identity, cultural imperialism, technological progress, identity and the loss of it. Sachs uses iconography such as the Goodwill logo, a McDonald’s sign in Chinese, the famous Scotch tape package and the American flag as a way to document the successes and failures of US culture.
American Handmade Paintings will be on show until May 3rd at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.