This Art Basel, sound, art, and design are coming together in a fantastic way. Artist, dancer, performer Nick Cave
is most well known for his Soundsuits, hypnotic creations that stimulate both visually and aurally. Cave is collaborating with Beats by Dr. Dre and Fendi Casa to showcase the power of sound and art.
This project came about through Cave's gallery, Jack Shainman
, which has worked with Fendi in the past. Cave used to dance with Alvin Ailey, and is the director of the graduate fashion program at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His own design and fashion background, according to Cave, influences, "a sort of way in which I like to interface with the art." His Soundsuits are wearable (though not actually wearable to the office) works of art that make their own music.
Cave created his first Soundsuit in response to the Rodney King beating in 1992, an emotional event for the artist, who is a black man. "I was thinking about ways to address this through a form of art. I decided to make this object that was constructed all out of twigs, then I put it on and it made sounds."
He works with materials that have been, as he described, discarded, giving them new value. Each suit is different. "I'm interested in this continuation of evolving, and this evolution of reconsidering something that I may find, that may be of interest to me."
Cave has a degree in modern dance and also owned a high-end retail store for ten years. At the store, he sold pieces from his own collection, which were also distributed to stores across the U.S. "I've always been interested in this sort of luxury arena. In providing something that's tangible." He says. This makes Fendi a perfect partner for the artist.
"The majority of my time has been [spent on] these sculptural objects. But lately, what I'm interested in is really moving more toward performance and doing a lot of community outreach." He brings forty Soundsuits to a city and hires locals to perform. His work thus brings together a community and people through dance, music, video and performance arts. Everyone becomes invested in the experience. Quite a beautiful thought.
Cave runs 10 miles a day, and doesn't drink coffee or alcohol. He doesn't smoke. He's in his studio by 8 a.m. each morning, listening to Shirley Horn, his daily ritual. "I try to maintain a very stress free life if I can," he says. But while he's in Miami, he'll be out and about. He's no stranger to Art Basel Miami Beach
. "The thing that's nice for me, it allows me to interface with this commercial world that I'm interested in. How does art and design sort of come together and establish a greater force."
Cave is collaborating with Beats by Dr. Dre for this project. Both deal with sound and come from a hip hop, urban sensibility. He says his own sculptures look at opulence, and the way high design meets high art with a contemporary, urban flare, which Dre's headphones do as well.
You can uncover Cave's work through Dre's Beats at Fendi Casa this Friday. Sound stations with videos will provide a visual and audio experience and Fendi Casa will be displaying their winter collection of stuff for your house.
Cocktails will be provided by Avion Tequila. The party takes place on December 2 from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Fendi Casa Luxury Living Showroom at 90 NE 39 Street.
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