Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga

Structural Patterns

Reflections on Art, Technology and Society

Nick Cave at Jack Shainman Gallery, Chelsea

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While checking out galleries this past Friday, I was fortunate to walk along 20th Street and immediately be drawn into Jack Shainman Gallery by Nick Cave’s “Sourndsuits.” Cave creates incredibly beautiful and detailed visual confections as costumes and wall pieces. At first I was reminded of Jim Drain’s incredible costumes, but Cave’s work seems to draw more directly from ritualistic costumes of other cultures. For example, a costume with a donkey head immediately reminded me “El Macho Raton” one of the characters from El Gueguense, a Nicaraguan folkloric play, pictured to the right.

In the gallery presentation, Cave co-opts ethnographic displays of natural history museums.  He is at once playing the role of author and ethnographer.  As I walked out, my friend Isabel and I wondered if he was merely capitalizing upon the culture of others.  However, in investigating Nick Cave’s work, there seems to be a lot more to these costumes.  Cave designs them for performance, they are part of an ongoing series that will come alive on stage.

Written by ricardo

October 29th, 2006 at 4:27 pm

Posted in fine_arts