Frank Ocean Taps DIY Art Star Tom Sachs to Make a Surprise Video for His New Single, ‘Provider’

The song is rich with pop-culture references, but the video is quite minimal.

Tom Sachs modifies a boombox in Frank Ocean's new video. Via Ocean's website.
Tom Sachs modifies a boombox in Frank Ocean's new video. Via Ocean's website.

If you enjoy the smooth, post-pop stylings of Frank Ocean and also have a taste for the grungy, prepper-esque DIY work of beloved New York artist Tom Sachs, we have some good news for you.

Last night—the same night as the MTV VMAs and, oh, just the Game of Thrones finale—Ocean released a surprise episode of his Apple show “Blonded Radio,” using part of it to debut a video for the new single “Provider.” (You can check it out on Ocean’s website.)

While the song is larded with a cornucopia of references to the Talking Heads, shoegaze music, Stanley Kubrick, manga star Goku, and Aphex Twin, the video itself is quite minimal, visually speaking. Its opening moments show Sachs in what would appear to be his studio, looking like a repair shop, as the artist tears apart an old-fashioned cassette boombox in order to make some modifications. He adds, on the front, larger speaker cones and, on the back, inexplicably, a sheath for a machete.

Frank Ocean performs at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California. Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images.

Frank Ocean performs at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California. Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images.

The rest of the video homes in on the spinning wheels of the cassette deck as the tune plays. Lyrics appear at the bottom, with a head of Hello Kitty as a bouncing ball; fans will know that the feline icon has been a repeated subject for Sachs over the years.

If any Ocean fans like what they see in Sachs’s art, they’ll have a chance to delve into his gritty oeuvre further next month, when he has two US shows opening: “Objects of Devotion,” at his New York gallery, Sperone Westwater (September 5–October 28); and “Tom Sachs: Tea Ceremony” at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas (September 16, 2017–January 7, 2018).


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share

Article topics