A Window Into Lunchtime at the Tom Sachs Studio
The creator of the blog “Salad for President,” Julia Sherman has long found inspiration in artists. Her new book, Arty Parties: An Entertaining Cookbook, offers advice for hosting a memorable gathering. What follows is an excerpt from the book, out October 26.
Tom Sachs is always working, and lunchtime is no exception. More method acting than entertaining, per se, the midday meal at his New York studio is just another scene in the integrated performance of Tom Sachs’s existence. Once a week in his Chinatown space of twenty-eight years, an army of eager art school grads, uniformed in utility overcoats and Nike × Tom Sachs sneakers, pauses for “rice and slop.” This is Tom’s crude description of a proprietary food group that encompasses anything saucy, filling, and flavorful enough to carry a plate of performance-enhancing carbs. Today we are feasting on his very favorite iteration: Louis Armstrong’s recipe for red beans and rice. Prized for its economy, accessibility, and cultural heft, he tells me, “It’s the most efficient meal on earth, but it has soul.” Efficiency with soul—Tom Sachs’s oeuvre in a nutshell.
Walking through the obsessively cataloged racks of materials and supplies feels less like perusing an art studio and more like exploring the biodome, a place where one is expected to enter and never leave. On a Monday morning, a dozen hardworking employees pass through the bunker-like kitchen, grabbing coffee and snacks before they scatter to solder, saw, and weld countless playful endeavors, from a scrappy Chanel manicure station to the trappings of a modern Japanese tea ceremony (think matcha whisk attached to the tip of a drill gun like an animated exquisite corpse). When the handmade collides with the industrial, hot glue, sharpies, and duct tape are the humble ingredients for ambitious works of art. It’s the arte povera of our time. There is no limit to what can be made here, from beans and rice to a mock mission to Mars.
Published at Mon, 25 Oct 2021 22:30:00 +0000
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