Nick Cave Talks about Race with New York Times

New York Times reporter Ted Loos visited the studio of SAIC faculty member Nick Cave (Fashion Design) for his article “The Artist Nick Cave Gets Personal About Race and Gun Violence.” The article is in anticipation of his new show at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.  

Known for his intricate wearable garments called Soundsuits, Cave has created new work with found objects for the Mass MoCA show called Until. The title comes from the oft-quoted Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “innocent until proven guilty.”  However, in the wake of frequent police shootings of Black men, Cave notes that the phrase has twisted into “guilty until proven innocent.” The artist explained the focus of the show: “Looking past what [Cave] called the 'bling bling, sparkle sparkle' factor of the exhibition is a grave theme: the fraught nexus of gun violence and race, in particular the deaths of African Americans in police custody in places like Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere.”

This is a personal issue for Cave. “I’m a Black male,” he told the Times. “The moment I step outside of the privacy of my space, I am viewed differently.” The exhibition, which opens October 16, is Cave’s platform to address the problematic treatment of race in historical and contemporary America alike.