Consumerism gets a regular kicking from artists, often painted as a social ill that reeks of greed, shallowness and manipulation. In the face of such critiques, the corporations responsible for pushing their goods down our throats cry all the way to the bank, as the saying goes, but they aren’t usually the real target of artistic snark anyway. That’s you and me, for being stupid enough to buy into the whole circus.
Tom Sachs is an artist who has a few sharp points to make about our love of consumption, but as he cheerfully concedes, he’s as complicit in the whole thing as the next man. “I eat at McDonalds,” he says. “I shop at Chanel. My girlfriend looks gorgeous in Chanel. There’s nothing like it. I love these places as much as I hate them for wrecking our world.” One can sympathise as regards women made more beautiful by a beautiful dress, although I fail to see what McDonalds adds to the world on any level. But the point is this: the more we are made aware of our behaviour, the more we can avoid becoming a victim of it. The New York artist is currently showing a selection of his sculpture at Lora Reynolds Gallery in Austin, Texas, which not only speaks to the issues of consumerism, but also showcase his fun-loving and accessible approach to art through pop and youth culture. Closing date for the show, entitled Nuggets, is 23 May.