Art

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Art couture: Bellagio exhibits one of artist Nick Cave’s wearable sculptures

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A new Nick Cave piece entitled “Soundsuit” was bought by the Bellagio as part of its permanent collection and displayed outside the Chanel store on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. It is composed of fabric, burins, antique sifter and wire. L.E. Baskow.
Photo: L.E. Baskow

Nick Cave “Soundsuit” | Bellagio | October 15, 2014

Back in 1992, in the wake of the Rodney King beating, artist Nick Cave was contemplating life as a black man—“discarded and devalued”—when he picked up some twigs and created the first of what would become his trademark wearable sculptures.

A new Nick Cave piece entitled "Soundsuit" was bought by the Bellagio as part of its permanent collection and displayed outside the Chanel store on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. It is composed of fabric, burins, antique sifter and wire.  L.E. Baskow.

A new Nick Cave piece entitled "Soundsuit" was bought by the Bellagio as part of its permanent collection and displayed outside the Chanel store on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. It is composed of fabric, burins, antique sifter and wire. L.E. Baskow.

In the years since, Cave, an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater-trained dancer (not the singer), has built on his wearable sculpture concept, using discarded materials that don’t reveal the race, class or gender of the wearer. The otherworldly, graceful, eye-popping full-body outfits, made of everything from ceramics and flowers to textiles and buttons, have been featured in museum exhibits, blue-chip galleries and performances.

Bellagio acquired “Soundsuit” (2013)—an opulent and mysteriously personable button-covered suit, complete with attached headpiece structured using an antique sifter—last year after its inclusion in Cave’s Sojourn exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. It’s on display in front of the Chanel store in Via Bellagio.

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