Monday, 7 November 2011

master of disguise

Inspired by African ceremonial costumes incorporating
bold abstract designs with intricate beaded and woven 
motifs usually worn to represent the forebears' spirit
in social and religious events, artist Nick Cave creates
spellbinding cross-cultural sculptures with uniquely rich  
combinations that may not be directly connected 
to fashion yet are awe-inspiring and magic.
In some sort of way they remind me Cuban-born 
artists 'Guerra de la Paz' who often use worn out 
clothing to build their own sculptures.

Nick Cave, not the Aussie rockstar but the American
Missouri-born, Chicago-based trans-artist, performer and
educator (Chicago's School of the Art Institute fashion
dept. chairman) whose mixed-media wearable sculptures
are meant not only as standing artworks yet to be worn
and performed in because of the rattle sounds they make.

”Something inexplicable happens when the suits are
in motion, the sounds they make give them a magical life
of their own” he wrote about his acclaimed 'Soundsuits',
more than a hundred unique pieces he works on since
1992 made of almost everything: a colorful copiousness
of natural and man-made objects with amazing bead and
needleworks, hand-sewn or crocheted designs, sequins, 
plastic buttons, raffia and hairy fabrics, feathers,
 small toys and whatever he may scavenge from
thrift shops, garage sales and flea markets.

Cave is a consummate fabric sculptor as well an
handicraft master, each single work is amazing
down to every detail and I simply adore the way
he transforms discarded, re-purposed and recycled
materials wondering how much time each single
costume/sculpture requires to complete.

'SoundSuitShop' is the website Nick created with
partner and design director Bob Faust to share
his art with a broader audience than his several
exhibitions can possibly reach and I swear up
and down I'd like so much to be the owner of one
of his conceptual and richly patterned costumes!

> images © by Jack Shainman Gallery <


  1. Wow! Very unique! They're sooooooo powerful and colourful! :)

  2. freakingly awesome artworks !! :)