“I think I first started making things because I wanted them, it was like sympathetic magic, you know, you build a model of your enemy’s fort and then you burn it down or you make a voodoo doll.”
A self-proclaimed bricoleur, Tom Sachs engages with high art, disposable consumer culture and everything in between. Critiquing the speed society replaces commodities, Sachs uses both commercial icons in his artwork and builds his own functioning versions of consumer goods using re-purposed items, for example in 1997 Sachs created a sculpture titled Prada Toilet, a workable toilet constructed out of Prada’s glossy up-market packaging with the company’s widely recognized logo prominently displayed. Hip hop stars like Frank Ocean and Warhol model Jane Holzer are collectors of his work.
One of the ongoing themes in Sachs’ work is outer space. He has said that NASA is “the ultimate status symbol in technology, the highest technology”. He has reimaged a series of objects using the Nasa logo including the 1996 issue of the famous Hermes “Kelly” Bag.
Sach’s hand-painted the Ardennes leather in white then branded it with the NASA logo. Today the purse has an estimated value between $30,000-40,000.
NASA is the ultimate fashion brand — it’s the Chanel of the scientific community. It’s got the most power, influence, and the highest-quality stuff. Just like with the Chanel logo, I’ve used the NASA logo to help bring authority and power to my sculptures and projects like my film.
The rare artwork is now up for auction through Christie’s auction house to be sold in their Handbags & Accessories sale at the London, King Street headquarters.