American, born 1966
Tom Sachs is known for creating elaborate installations that include a variety of objects commonly found in the public domain and commercial marketplace. With the incorporation of simple, recognizable elements, Trojan cleverly articulates modernist concepts and forms in layman’s terms. The work was made from a cast of an amalgamation of dysfunctional or rudimentary components: lifeless car batteries scattered throughout Sachs’s studio, a carpeted dolly he found in the street, cinder blocks, and wood wedges. Trojan is one of a series of sculptures that all carry virile brand names; some other works in the series are titled Die Hard and Duralast. The notion of vigorous masculinity suggested by these titles is also evoked in the works’ compositions, which not only read as phallic but also totemic. In lieu of simply invoking tribal ancestry, Trojan also suggests the dominance of the consumer world and the commodification of contemporary culture.
Label from For the Love of Things: Still Life, February 27–May 29, 2016