Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum



Somewhere in Tom Sachs’ overdeveloped imagination, the cold, logical utilitarianism of engineering confronted the intuitive, whimsical nature of art and something unexpected — a symbiosis — developed between them.

Brooklyn Museum

Tom Sachs is an artist and a sculptor, as well as a member of the loosely-defined, collaborative, four-person-collective known provocatively as Satan Ceramics.  He recently stepped out on his own for a solo exhibit, appropriating the entire glass entryway of the Brooklyn Museum’s Rubin Pavilion and organically transforming it into an immersive sound system experience. He incorporated “found objects” (such as plywood, batteries, duct tape, and foam), audio components, and his hallmark text and symbols (such as the word Satan and the acronym NASA) into multiple variations on the Boombox, ranging in size and complexity. The functional art pieces shape the space of the exhibit holistically, as is his trademark style.

Tom Sachs Boombox Retrospective

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Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden



There are few people who can travel to Japan and not be charmed by it.  I can remember my first trip there with uncharacteristic precision, but like so many others, I flirted with its culture and food long before I set foot on a plane.  There is something so intoxicating about how truly unique it is, so it’s no surprise that Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri is one of its busiest weekends of the year.

Sakura Matsuri, which literally translates into Cherry Blossom Festival, is an annual celebration that ushers in spring with the synchronous blooming of multiple cherry blossom trees.  Cherry blossoms are deeply symbolic in Japanese culture, where hanami is the centuries-old practice of picnicking under a blooming sakura tree.  At BBG, they commemorate this time of year with a weekend dedicated to honoring traditional and contemporary Japanese culture.  Its traditional roots are illustrated with activities such as taiko drumming and martial arts performances, while its more contemporary influences can be found in cosplay- and anime-themed activities.  

I hope you’ll indulge me as I take you on a short picture tour — I believe it will capture the spirit of the event better than any description I could cobble together.  Let’s begin with the stars of the show:

Sakura Matsuri Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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The Hard Nut at BAM

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There’s risk everywhere in New York City—everywhere. That’s a fact.  The promise of success and the threat of failure lurk equally around every corner.  And those who live and work and thrive here embrace that risk unconditionally, drawing strength and inspiration from it. Fearlessness, ingenuity, persistence, perseverance—for artist and entrepreneur alike, these are the tenuous threads that stitch together their dreams. And it’s this frenetic sense of potential that can lead to truly astonishing results—from distinction to disaster to something altogether less interesting (albeit still quite worthwhile) somewhere in-between.

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