Oh! Oh! Oreo (2023)
by Sam Lasseter
for 85 Tenth Avenue
New York City
Built at the dawn of the previous century as the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) building, 85 Tenth Avenue today hosts some of the leading global companies in the heart of Chelsea, with its original exterior still intact since its inception. The artist, Sam Lasseter, created this sculpture using the original design of the Nabisco Oreo cookie and its packaging, which came to life in 1912 right at this location, to commemorate the building’s history and significant presence in the Chelsea neighborhood.
As an artist, I create art with the central goal of spreading joy and happiness. To do that I rely on nostalgic subject matter that viewers can connect with; drawing from memories and the inner child within themselves. And what better subject matter than the Oreo cookie. Everyone has a memory of eating an Oreo—from the smell, the feel, the crunch. If you ask, people will tell you how they twisted them apart, how they would dunk them in milk, or that time they stacked the creams together to make a quadruple stuff. Such vivid memories are associated with this cookie that, for me as an artist, I don’t need to do much to remind people of these nostalgic moments. But this one here might look different than the cookie people love. Based off of the original design of the cookie released in 1912, I wanted to honor the history of this building, the National Biscuit Company and its roots in the Chelsea neighborhood.
National Biscuit Co. Bldg., 15th St. & 10th Ave. (C1913.)
Having received a BFA in sculpture at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Sam Lasseter worked as a puppet builder at companies in the theater, theme park and movie industry in Atlanta, Portland and New York. In 2015 he exhibited in a solo gallery exhibition called Joy, which set the course for his work, where all of the art was meant to make the viewer smile and share a laugh. Lasseter believes that art should be used to spread happiness and a positive messages. He is developing his current body of hyperrealistic sculptures of enlarged classic toys and candies while exploring methods of fabrication.