Acquired through the Auckland Art Gallery Foundation's 2018 Annual Appeal, Nick Cave's Soundsuit, 2008 is notably the first work by an African American artist to enter the Gallery’s collection.
Opening up new conversations around humanity, identity and beauty in the world today, Nick Cave is a multi-disciplinary artist known for works that intersect sculpture, textile, installation and performance arts. Speaking to issues surrounding identity and social justice – specifically race, violence and civic responsibility – they have a profound engagement with the sensuous.
The ongoing Soundsuit series continues as Cave's response to the 1991 beating of Rodney King by the Los Angeles Police Department. As an African American man, Cave felt particularly vulnerable after the incident, creating Soundsuits as a seductive camouflage and second skin that conceals race, gender and class to invite the viewer to look without judgement. Joyously optimistic, Soundsuits remain insistent reminders of the need for protection and empowerment of those who are marginalised by society.
View Soundsuit, 2008, a unique and lavisly decorated costume-like sculpture, on display at the Gallery for the first time since its acquisition.
- Entry foyer, Ground level