I stopped by the Jack Shainman Gallery on 20th Street yesterday to check out their new exhibit of Nick Cave’s elaborate Soundsuits! Very impressive! Please take a minute to follow me on Instagram for updates on the site and more photos from my adventures in NYC and beyond!
This Soundsuit (2008), embellished with fake flowers and leaves, transforms the human body into an ornate still life. Nick Cave took a traditional genre of painting and reshaped it into a contemporary sculpture with the potential to come to life. Cave has been fabricating these sculptures since the early 1990s.
Made to be worn, each Soundsuit allows the wearer to try on a new identity. The suit draws on various cultural and religious rituals ranging from ceremonial African dances to Christian services, masking the identities of the wearers and making them assume the persona of the costume.
Do you enjoy the work of artist Nick Cave? I sure do. I especially like his very fun Sound Suits, but I also enjoy that he can change it up while maintaining his very distinctive design aesthetic. Nick Cave!
On view now at Jack Shainmans’s West 24th Street space is Cave’s body of work entitled Rescue. The series includes sculptures that incorporate found ceramic dogs sitting on furniture within elaborate grottos or dreamlike dens.
Dogs have historically been associated with loyalty, class, breed, commitment, and protection. More recently, the term “dawg” has played a role in hip-hop culture as a moniker for brotherhood, respect, and power.
In the Rescues, Cave focuses each piece on a single canine that has quite literally been rescued from destruction, very much like an adopted pet. These dogs become the benevolent guardians of their self-contained worlds, focusing the spotlight on the forgotten and discarded.
A Doberman lounges on a gold sofa while a small dog fiercely guards a wishbone on a shoeshine table.
The armatures that envelop these animals correspond with large-scale wall based bas reliefs dripping with crystals, beads, small ceramic birds and metal flowers.
The vast amount of detail in these works is astounding. You could spend hours in discovery, examining each piece. Very cool!
Rescue by Nick Cave will be on Exhibit through October 11th, 2014 at the Jack Shainman Gallery, Located at 524 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Famous for his wildly original Soundsuits and also for not being This Guy, artist Nick Cave has joined the family of Little Collector with the creation and marketing of his Inflatable Soundsuit Punching Bags for kids! Yes, I just typed that. You have your choice of two different designs, as seen above, available for just
$80.00 $99.00 each and I am betting they will sell out fast! Grab one for your favorite art-loving, active child right now at This Link!
It very rarely happens that an artist has two shows running concurrently at two different Manhattan galleries, but right now the work of artist Nick Cave (not to be confused with This Guy) is being featured in two Chelsea galleries just a few blocks apart, which makes it very easy to make it to both – and you simply must, because his stuff is off the hook!
At Jack Shainman Gallery, Ever After features several different types of Cave’s ‘Soundsuits.’ In 1991, Cave again making wearable Soundsuits in response to the beating of Rodney King by the LAPD. One set, entitled Loud Speaker (see top photo), is a series of suits joined together by fabric and embellished with black mother of pearl buttons – very gorgeous and enigmatic. There’s also a similar set of suits that are not conjoined but are also covered in white/cream mother of pearl buttons. A third set at the front of the gallery is comprised of human scale, cream colored shaggy fur suits with rabbit ears. This set remind me of the film Donnie Darko for some reason. Cool and creepy at the same time!
Walk a few a blocks uptown to the Mary Boone Gallery and you’ll encounter For Now, another Cave collection of Soundsuits, this time featuring colorful stand-alone works, each distinct to the other and made up of familiar “found” materials ranging from Dogwood twigs (previously seen at the Museum of Arts and Design), rag rugs, and sock monkeys sewn together, to tin noise makers, old fashioned toy tops or ceramic bird figurines. I know that Nick Cave has a staff that does the assemblage of these suits, but somebody had to think of the ideas for these things, and they are pretty twisted. So, high fives all around! I recommend you make time to see both of these exhibits while you can— both are kid friendly, by the way.
Jack Shainman Gallery is Located at 513 West 20th Street. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Ever After is on exhibit through October 8, 2011.
Mary Boone Gallery is Located at 541 West 24th Street. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. For Now is on Exhibit through October 22, 2011.