Nick Cave 'Soundsuit' Exhibition: Shainman and Mary Boone Galleries

Chicago artist Nick Cave's ebullient "Soundsuits" transform the person inside into something fantastical.

The “Soundsuits” of Chicago artist Nick Cave are some of the most exuberant, peculiar objects now circulating as contemporary art. A big sampling of recent ones is on view in New York in a two-part show, split between the Jack Shainman Gallery and the Mary Boone Gallery, and sampled in this slideshow. Cave’s trademark objects are bodysuits that can be made of anything from rainbow-dyed human hair to found welcome mats. They can be cut like straight-ahead enlargements of a toddler’s sleeper, or can have bizarre extra arms or giant steam funnels where the wearer’s head should be. They are called Soundsuits because some of them make noise when they are worn, but also, more metaphorically, because they change the most basic features of the environment for anyone wearing or witnessing them. They can seem almost completely cheery, but the urge to cover up and transform the person inside says something about an oppressive external world that needs to be hidden from and resisted.

– Blake Gopnik

To read more about these objects, go to our Daily Pic.

James Prinz Photography

A Nick Cave Soundsuit covered in buttons, radically transforming its wearer’s humanity.

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

 

James Prinz Photography

A Soundsuit covered in found rugs, such as Grandma might have knit.

COURTESY OF MARY BOONE GALLERY AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

James Prinz Photography

Shoddy mass-produced rugs become something handmade and individual.

COURTESY OF MARY BOONE GALLERY AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

James Prinz Photography

This Soundsuit lets its wearers wrap themselves in stuffed animals, in a return to childhood that threatens to suffocate.

COURTESY OF MARY BOONE GALLERY AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

James Prinz Photography

A Soundsuit for the potholder in you.

COURTESY OF MARY BOONE GALLERY AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

James Prinz Photography

Found sweaters become a Soundsuit.

COURTESY OF MARY BOONE GALLERY AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

James Prinz Photography

A recent Soundsuit by Nick Cave.

COURTESY OF MARY BOONE GALLERY AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

James Prinz Photography

Not fur, but real human hair, dyed.

COURTESY OF MARY BOONE GALLERY AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

James Prinz Photography

A Soundsuit that evokes certain tribal costumes from Africa.

COURTESY OF MARY BOONE GALLERY AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

James Prinz Photography

A Nick Cave Soundsuit.

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

 

James Prinz Photography

A Nick Cave Soundsuit that, like all of them, is sized to fit his body.

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

 

 

James Prinz Photography

Nick Cave Soundsuit: man as steam funnel.

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK

 

James Prinz Photography

A Nick Cave Soundsuit.

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY, NEW YORK