A brush with... Nick Cave

Ben Luke talks to Nick Cave about his influences—including those from the worlds of literature, music, film and, of course, art—and the cultural experiences that have shaped his life and work. Cave, born in Fulton, Missouri, US, in 1959, creates elaborate sculptures and found-object installations. He’s best known for his Soundsuits, which blend sculpture, performance, fashion and social activism. His work veers from the intimate and homespun object to vast installations and performances involving multiple participants. Among much else, he discusses his early encounters with the work of Anselm Kiefer and Barkley Hendricks; his passion for the couture of Elsa Schiaparelli; the enduring influence of George Clinton’s Parliament/Funkadelic; and a seminal sequence in the film The Wiz. Plus, he answers all our usual questions, including the ultimate one: what is art for?

Nick Cave: Forothermore, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, until 10 April 2023. In the Black Fantastic, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands, until 9 April 2023.

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