“I know that I am here to use art as this vehicle for change. So, I have to somehow come up with ways of working that sort of breaks down these divisions.” —Nick Cave
In one of his most recent creations, the talented artist Nick Cave recently created a series of vibrant mosaics for a Times Square subway stop. The mosaics are based on photographs taken of his signature Soundsuit during past performances. Cave created his first Soundsuit sculpture in 1991 in response to the police beating of Rodney King. He explains:
“I felt like my identity and who I was as a human being was up for question. I felt like that could have been me. Once that incident occurred, I was existing very differently in the world. So many things were going through my head: How do I exist in a place that sees me as a threat?”
In response to this brutal attack, Nick created his first Sounsuit out of twigs. Over the years he has created 500 more using a variety of found materials. Soundsuits are a blend of color, noise, and texture that rattle and resonate with the performer’s movements. They camouflage the body, acting as a protective “second skin” that conceals race, gender, and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment.”
To see the powerful impact of a Soundsuit in performance check out this live performance.
Cave’s current exhibit “Forothermore” is on display at the Guggenheim Museum through April 10. It covers the entire breadth of the artist’s career and features sculpture, installation, video, and rarely-seen early works.