Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2009
Chicago-based artist and former Alvin Ailey dancer, Nick Cave, featuring fifty of his “soundsuits”—multi-layered mixed-media, wearable sculptures named for the sounds made when the sculptures are worn. As reminiscent of African and religious ceremonial costumes as they are of haute couture, Cave’s work explores issues of ceremony, ritual, myth and identity. He does this through a layering of concepts, highly-skilled techniques and varied traditions, using materials such as fabrics, beads, sequins, old bottle caps, rusted iron, sticks, twigs, leaves and hair. Mad, humorous, elaborate, grotesque, glamorous and unexpected, the soundsuits are created from scavenged ordinary materials—detritus from both nature and culture—that Cave re-contextualizes into visionary masterpieces.