artist of the day #29: Nick Cave

Sometimes I look at a piece of art, and that is all I see. It is not to say specifically that there is something wrong with the piece, but it just kind of stops right there. Then there are times when I see a piece of art and I can envision a whole new universe erupt, it is inspiring. That is what happens when I see the various “soundsuits” of artist Nick Cave. I imagine new cultures and customs, filled with tribal dances and new life. His work is so perfectly on that line of what is recognizable and what is completely alien that you both recognize it and are left utterly confused. These soundsuits create a vehicle in which a human can obviously have a relation to, yet everything else about it is completely surreal. They are often just displayed as still sculptures, but they take on a whole new meaning when Cave gets to showcase them in one of his choreographed dances.

Trained in both fashion and in dance, Cave marries the two in some remarkable public performances. He comes from a large family and attributes his fascination with using found objects to coming from a family with modest means. So lets be thankful for poor people and take note how someone can turn a negative into a positive. He strives to make his work include others and in some special way change the world. He works as the director of the graduate fashion program at the Chicago Institute of Art where he not only finds students, but he finds teams of people to collaborate with for his performances.

Cave is represented by the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, but does the majority of his performing in the Chicago area. He has exhibited all over the place as he continues to create other worlds. Check out some of these videos to hear both his take on his work and to get a glimpse of what his performances are like: