Nick Cave

USA Toby Devan Lewis Fellow, 2006

Nick Cave (Chicago) began his career as a performer and fashion designer, creating fantastic, almost ritualistic costumes for dance and performances. More recently, he has been presenting these costumes as sculptural objects. These works, which he calls Soundsuits, are textured, sensual, elaborately designed assemblages of sometimes unexpected materials that act almost like musical instruments, emitting sound as they move. He has produced 40 of these pieces, which he describes as "full body suits constructed of materials that rattle with movement . . . like a coat of armor, [they] embellish the body while protecting the wearer from outside culture." Cave has received the Joyce Award (2006), the Richard Dreihaus Foundation Individual Artist Award (2006), Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2001), and several grants from Creative Capital. He is a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Portrait photo courtesy James Prints
Flower Soundsuit, 2006, vintage metal flowers, found beaded and sequined garments; photo courtesy the artist