Back in 2016 I wrote a letter to the studio; a half-baked response to one of Tom’s ‘help wanted’ notices. It was self-sabotaged on purpose; I was terrified that Tom would want me to work for him. “I’ve got a kid, my wife is studying. I’m too nerdy to uplift everything and work for a world-renowned artist in New York”.

But I also needed help with a riddle that had been puzzling me for weeks. In the letter I wrote:

I think your self-portrait “The Sachs Family Crest” is one of my favourites. However, there is one element I don’t understand. You have two BMW icons and I’m unfamiliar with the inner one. The one with the white, green, yellow and red ‘propeller swirl.’ What is the story behind that one?

I had scoured the internet for an answer, to no avail. It really bothered me that I couldn’t figure out the symbolism of the two BMW icons. A few months later out of the blue I got a hand-written reply, a note clarifying everything.

The second BMW is for Bob Marley and the Wailers: ‘Total destruction is the only solution.’

Tom’s reply is one of my most prized possessions. It helped me realise that I don’t need to be in New York to intern. I’m pretty good with this digital stuff, and Tom’s an extremely generous teacher, I can learn this remotely… and I’m not too nerdy for art.

A zoomed in photo of the sachs family crest. Zoomed in on the area that shows two BMW icons.

Photo: Tom Sachs

Originally written for the Sachsian Syndicate.

Previously: TGIM 12 - That warning label makes it look like the glovebox in Tom’s caprice is filled with contraband. But what? Whiskey? Unpaid parking tickets? Drugs? Weapons of Mass Distraction?


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