Tom Sachs is showcasing two concurrent exhibitions in Korea centered around his affinity for space, Western consumer culture and the burgeoning field of the metaverse.
In the first, Tom Sachs: Rocket Factory Paintings, held at Thaddaeus Ropac Seoul, the acclaimed American artist returns to an NFT project he embarked on last summer, where he invited the community to reconfigure 30 branded Component NFTs into unique artworks. In the exhibition, Sachs presents a suite of 14 paintings that are directly inspired by some of the rocket NFT artworks created by the global community.
Apparent on each canvas are numerous branded symbols and characters — from Lisa Simpson and Brian Griffin, NASA and Atari, 7-Eleven and Budweiser — the list goes on. "In my childhood, at the kitchen table we would discuss dad’s new car or mom’s new dress. Brands are the foundation of the dominant religion of our era – consumerism," said the artist in a statement.
Originating as simple iPad drawings, Sachs referred to the process of creating the NFTs as "comburning" — a first of its kind he noted — where these fan-made rockets would be be translated into physical sculptures in Sachs's Manhattan studio. Operating somewhere between the metaverse and the real world, Sachs challenges our perception of art by pulling the burgeoning digital realm back into the tactile nature of the handmade.
Happening at the same time at the Art Sonje Center, Tom Sachs Space Program: Indoctrination presents the artist's fascination with American do-it-yourself culture, particularly focusing on today's overconsumption and society's insatiable need for instant gratification.
Emblematic of his past work, each of the sculptures on view is noticeably inspired by Sachs' affinity for space, along with an emphasis on the human hand in reshaping the world. In this way, Space Program can be seen as a glimpse into mankind's existence on Earth and the trajectory in which we of explore and colonize new environments in search of new resources.
Seoul, South Korea
Art Sonje Center
87 Yulgok-ro 3-gil,
Seoul, South Korea