Tom Sachs Brings Boombox Culture Back to the Brooklyn Museum

“Boomboxes have always been an accessory to the rituals of my life.”

By
11,850 Hypes 0 Comments

On a warm afternoon in May, the Brooklyn Museum is filled with field trip groups ambling around, waiting on wristbands. Instead of the usual solemn quiet that one finds in art museums, however, the children are greeted by a playlist of today’s radio hits and when Drake comes in on Rihanna’s “Work,” a schoolyard choir rises to harmonize with him.

This playlist is part and parcel of Tom Sachs’ “Boombox Retrospective” exhibit: a collection of multimedia works the artist has amassed over the past 17 years that has captivated fans, listeners and collectors with its eccentricity and interactivity. These are speaker systems inspired by Jamaican sound-clash culture, New York corner stores and Defender, the classic 1980 arcade game.

The Brooklyn retrospective covers 17 years of the artist’s career, but he has been making boomboxes for much longer; the New York creative warmly recalls trading his sister’s boyfriend a copy of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti for a stolen car stereo. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can purchase a DIY zine from an ATM attached to Sach’s Bodega that dates the beginning of his obsession to 1981: “I hooked my Sony Walkman up to a set of mini speakers and Velcroed them to a block of plywood. It was a clusterfuck of wires.” The Bodega is a boombox too, of course.

The collection showcases Sachs’s balance of obsessive attention to detail and an irreverent sense of humor: one speaker has a perfect recreation of the Chanel monogram alongside the word “Pussy” written in Sachs’ signature scrawl; a Courvoisier bottle in Presidential Vampire Booth‘s bar has been Wited-Out to read Corbusier.

HYPEBEAST caught up with the artist to discuss how he got into boomboxes, how music informs his creative process, and how he and Frank Gehry feel about imitators. Check the video out above.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Takashi Murakami & 'Juxtapoz' to Curate a Pop-Up Group Show in Seattle
Arts

Takashi Murakami & 'Juxtapoz' to Curate a Pop-Up Group Show in Seattle

“Juxtapoz x Superflat” opens in conjunction with next month’s Seattle Art Fair.

Desiigner Gets Tatted Up in “Caliber” Video
Music 

Desiigner Gets Tatted Up in “Caliber” Video

The Brooklyn rapper’s ‘New English’ single gets a visual.

5 Embroidered Sneakers to Match Your Souvenir Jacket
Footwear

5 Embroidered Sneakers to Match Your Souvenir Jacket

The ‘Sukajan’ wave has well and truly come.


Xavier Dolan Fronts Louis Vuitton's 2016 Fall/Winter Campaign
Fashion

Xavier Dolan Fronts Louis Vuitton's 2016 Fall/Winter Campaign

Third time’s a charm.

The Puma R698 Arrives in "Natural Vachetta" and "Slate" Colorways
Footwear

The Puma R698 Arrives in "Natural Vachetta" and "Slate" Colorways

Featuring a patent leather construction.

ASICS Drops a Tanabata Festival-Inspired Pack
Footwear

ASICS Drops a Tanabata Festival-Inspired Pack

Two pairs representing the deities of Orihime and Hikoboshi.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. In adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.