Boombox Retrospective


The current exhibit, Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective:1999-2015, is worth a trip to the downtown location of The Contemporary Austin. Through April 19th, both floors of The Jones Center are dedicated to this unusual installation by artist Tom Sachs.


I was curious to see this exhibit after spending a delightful afternoon last month at The Contemporary’s Laguna Gloria location on West 35th Street. One of their newest acquisitions, the Miffy Fountain, was also created by Tom Sachs. This “crying” fountain has been installed in the front lawn near the Art School.

IMG_1595The downtown Jones Center exhibit includes a similar bunny sculpture (sans tears). Miffy may look familiar to you. This character comes from a series of children’s books by Dutch artist Dick Bruna.

IMG_1594 As you might expect, much of The Jones Center’s exhibit is devoted to boomboxes. Tom Sachs has embellished these 1980s relics to create interesting collages. They are all in working order and, with the help of volunteer docents, you can listen to playlists by famous musicians such as Kanye West and Frank Ocean.


My favorite piece in the exhibit was called Bodega. At first this looked like another large-scale boombox, but it was actually a vending cart with a person sitting inside. Some of the items were for sale, so I bought a pack of M&Ms for Bill.


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