The Unknown Hipster

Bowling at Tom Sachs

Posted in Art by unknownhipster on December 29, 2009


A few months ago I was taken to a little party at Tom Sachsstudio by my friend Glenn.

We were greeted by Tom, wearing desert fatigue and his signature grey t-shirt. If you didn’t know it was him, his name was handwriten on a piece of tape stuck on his chest: Tom. He then wrote our names on tape –Unknown for me- and stuck them on our jackets. Everybody had his name written on tape, like a convention.

If you’d never been to Tom’s studio,  it’s 30% hardware store, 60% Art gallery, and the remaining 10%, a miscelleneous mix of accounting, archives and research. The hardware space also includes a small kitchen with a lot of funny signs on the fridge, cornflakes, bananas on a plate, etc..,which could make it all an installation piece that could be sold at Gagosian, except that it’s a real kitchen, meaning a working one. At least, it looks like one. Everything else in this room was also funny, and almost endless fun to look at: Tom’s tools, Tom’s chainsaws, Tom’s cameras, and Tom’s classic Hello Kitty sculptures on a shelf.

I had went there many years before, also taken by Glenn when, I remember, only the hardware space existed. It was for the launch party for Tom’s Chanel guillotine. People were drinking and talking, not paying that much attention to the life-size guillotine with the famous fashion house logo. Then Tom brought a pork roast he had cooked, and placed it where you were supposed to put your head when you were given a death sentence. Tom pulled on a rope to release the knife and it came down with a brief and sinister whistle that not only cut the roast, but the metal tray on which it was presented. I remember juice splashing on people around it,  particularly on a romantic, pale, and dark haired young woman, dressed in 1930’s vintage who looked like she could be a poet, or at least someone with a tormenting interest in the Art world.

Shortly after this semi-private event, Tom’s work became more and more famous, while Chanel celebrity remained more or less the same.

DJ Leslie

At this recent party, we found out that the studio has a basement, where unused parts and remains of installations are stacked along the walls. Tom had also installed a make-shift bowling lane, and a few guest were playing.

It made the same thundering noise when the ball rolled and hit the pins, just like a real bowling.

I gave it a try, and when throwing the wooden ball, I realized it was metaphor for artistic success: bowling over the Art world !

Although I never play bowling, I knocked over all the pins on my first attempt.

-  Is bowling big in France ? asked me  Andy.

Andy playing bowling

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