Saturday, September 24, 2011

The “other” Nick Cave

I think you should feel blessed if you find yourself named Nick Cave. This name seems to be synonymous with wonderful artistic talent. If you don’t know already, I absolutely love, adore and admire Nick Cave (musician, novelist, poet), but today I was introduced to another artist by the name of Nick Cave thanks to my friend Jono. Nick Cave is an artist/sculptor/dancer, best known for his amazing “Soundsuits”, sculptures that are also costumes and can be worn as such.

Right now, there is a Nick Cave exhibition at the Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea (see link for more details on the location and to read the gallery’s press release on Nick Cave). The exhibition is called “Ever-After” and is comprised of four separate areas, as well as a video. The video contains a reel of Nick Cave and other dancers wearing other suits and dancing, at one point using pogosticks! Pretty amazing seeing as I don’t know how they could see properly as the suits camouflage the individuals completely. While the video itself is a blast of colour and movement, the rest of the exhibition provides a stark contrast.

The first part is a line of suits made entirely out of real blond human hair. The models are all positioned a little differently, and they kind of look like they are going to start moving on the spot at any given time. The whole human hair aspect is pretty amazing, because not one hair is the exact same colour, and the suits are all made up of lots and lots of slightly different shades of light blond hair. The models all have bunny ears too, and the set is called “Mating Season”, so I will leave it up to your imagination to picture the ideas behind the suits.

When you move towards the back of the gallery there are three other sets of figures. The first one is comprised of 5 or 6 figures of different shapes and sizes, all made out of thousands of white, silver and black buttons sewn onto fabric one at a time by hand. Each figure has a specific individual touch (a metal basket, red fur, wicker basket…). Although they are all separate, all of the models seem to form a unity together. The next two sets are both a set of models all linked together, with slightly different forms and positions, the first set being dark and metallic, the second being white. In the same way as the unit of individual suits, these sets are all made with thousands of buttons. I can’t believe they were all sewn on by hand, it must have taken hours and hours of work! All these buttons give the suits a metallic sheen as well as a strange fluidity, a little like liquid metal. It’s REALLY cool. I mean REALLY COOL. You actually can imagine the suits in movement… I want to wear one, hide in one, and use dance as a form of expression. Hide my face and body and express my feelings in a different way.

I don’t usually go and check out any of the art galleries in Chelsea very often, but I really should start. I really enjoyed this exhibition and I’m sure there are a bunch of other artistic gems out there that I have yet to discover for myself!

The Nick Cave exhibition finishes on October 8th.

Nick Cave site

Nick Cave Facebook

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