Nick Cave (born 1959) is a multimedia artist whose mediums include sculpture, fiber, video, sound and performance. Cave is best-known for his Soundsuits, created in 1991 in response to the brutal attack of Rodney King by the Los Angeles Police Department. Cave constructed his first Soundsuit out of twigs, reflecting on the brutality of King’s attack and the Los Angeles riots from the perspective of an African American man. While he initially intended them be static sculptures, Cave realized these sculptures could be worn and has activated them through performance as well as installations ever since.  These second skins are meant to conceal and protect the body, hiding all visible identity from the viewer and camouflaging the wearer from societal judgment. 


Nick Cave received his Bachelor of Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute and his Masters of Fine Art from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois where he is the director of the graduate fashion program at the School of Art Institute Chicago. Nick Cave is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the De Young Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian. 


Related Works

  • In the collection of our sister gallery, form & concept, colorful hand-knit acrylic suits by Mark Newport reflect on gender, identity and conceptions of strength and vulnerability. Newport is the Head of Fiber at Cranbrook, where Cave received his MFA. View his work.