Nick Cave (b. 1959, Missouri) is a multimedia artist working in sculpture, fiber, video, sound and performance. Cave is best-known for his colorful, three-dimensional Soundsuits, a body of work first created in 1991 in response to the brutal attack of Rodney King by the Los Angeles Police Department. 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 BA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA 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 (New York City), the de Young Museum (San Francisco), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville) and the Smithsonian (DC), among others.

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.