One of Nick Cave’s Awe-Inspiring Soundsuits is on Display at the Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn, NEW YORK—Nick Cave makes awe-inspiring costumes cum sculptures with shaman-like qualities. He calls the expressive, conceptual works “soundsuits.”

While he was pursuing a degree in art, Cave studied dance with Alvin Ailey. Today the one-time costume designer is a fiber-baed sculptor and performance artist who chairs the fashion design department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Many of his soundsuits are chaotic assemblages of materials, textures and colors that, when worn and in motion, make rhythmic sounds.

Truth be told, while the creations are beautiful, they are a little scary too. They have a ritualistic, voodoo vibe and certain oddities that may be off-putting to some.

For example, this twig soundsuit currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum is meticulously fabricated, almost replicating a layered coat of fur. But paired with a head that is an open cavity framed by a cylindrical basket, it is otherworldly.

Cave had concurrent exhibits at Mary Boone Gallery and Jack Shainman Gallery last fall and one of his soundsuits is included in the 30 Americans exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. A major exhibition of his work, “Meet Me at the Center of the Earth,” is traveling and opens at the Cincinnati Art Museum on Jan. 21.

Photos by Arts Observer

“Soundsuit,” 2010 (dogwood twigs, wire, upholstery, basket and mannequin).

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