Five Fun Facts About Space Maverick, Tom Sachs


Who in the world is Tom Sachs? A starry-eyed artist from New York City, sneakerheads have long orbited his collaborations with NikeCraft, with the General Purpose Shoe the latest brain bolt by the interstellar sculptor.

But what else do we know about Mr Sachs?

To celebrate the upcoming release of multiple General Purpose Shoe colourways, we thought we’d assemble the novelty-sized SF telescope and zoom in on five fun facts about the space maverick.

Houston, we have another artist in the sneakersphere!

He Once Worked as a ‘Non-Union Fire Escape and Elevator Repairman’

All great artists need to find a way to support their craft. For Tom Sachs, it was working as a ‘non-union fire escape and elevator repairman’ in New York City. For Sachs, it was ‘hard, miserable, challenging’ work, but he found a silver lining in the act of working hard and the skills he picked up, like forging metal – a craft that would later inform his superlative sculptural work.


His First Sneaker Collaboration Was the Nike Mars Yard

The Mars Yard first hit the market after three long years of R+D. The shoe was designed specifically for mechanical engineer Tommaso Rivellini at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, who invented the airbags used for the Mars Rover missions.

Emblazoned in Sachs’ now-signature rust and red composition, the Mars Yard took design cues from the lunar overshoes astronauts wore during Apollo lunar missions, featuring uppers made of Vectran fabric (the same used on Rivellini’s airbags).

‘These shoes are built to support the bodies of the strongest minds in the aerospace industry’, Sachs wrote on his official website.

The Mars Yard was also accompanied by Sachs’ first set of NikeCraft apparel, including totes and jackets harnessing materials from boat mainsails and automotive airbags.


Tom Loves Flaws

‘I could never make anything as perfect as an Apple product. But Apple could never make something as fucked up and flawed as one of my sculptures’, Tom Sachs admitted in a recent interview with HYPEBEAST.

Although Sachs is a huge fan of Apple and modern technology, he admits that their products are almost too perfect and without blemishes.

‘It doesn’t show that a human is there’, Sachs emphasised.

One of the fundamental goals of Sachs’ art is to show how it’s made. The materials and the processes all form part of the end product – warts, bolts and all. We are human!


He’s Selling NFTs

For Tom Sachs, his art has now blasted off into the mind-boggling world of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Dubbed the Rocket Factory, Sachs described the project as a ‘trans-dimensional manufacturing plant’, allowing users to construct their own NFTs from pre-existing NFTs.

What does this mean, exactly? Basically, users select rocket pieces, including nose cones, body parts and tail assemblies. By purchasing each part using Ethereum, the user can build their own so-called ‘Frankenrocket’.

In addition to the NFTs, Tom Sachs also built 1,000 toy-sized physical versions of each rocket.

Take me to the moon, Mr Sachs!

Rise and Shine, Starboy!

Tom Sachs likes to work as soon as he rises, before all the emails ‘crush his spirit’. The first thing he loves to do is ‘touch clay’, while the connection with his subconscious mind is at its strongest (having just woken up).

‘I always try to draw, make, or do something that’s output before I start the day because the day will eventually find me’, Sachs told i-D.

The notion of creating while the subconscious mind is ripe is a salient notion for many artists. For his part, Salvador Dali would fall asleep with a paintbrush in his mouth. When he awoke to the sound of the brush hitting the canvas, he would immediately paint what he saw!

Can’t get enough of Tom Sachs and his star-hopping sneakers?

Make sure to check out our in-depth feature on Tom Sachs and NikeCraft.

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