Artist Nick Cave’s Favorite Things

TRUTH SEEKER: The internationally-known tastemaker shares 10 stylish items

Nick Cave

Next month, the artist Nick Cave, who has earned global recognition over the past two decades for his Soundsuits—kaleidoscopic, kinetic costumes-slash-sculptures—unveils a bas-relief wall installation commissioned by the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. Cave collaborated with Senegalese citizens to build the work, which is a mashup of fabricated and found materials. “There’s this unconditional approach [there] that I’m attracted to,” he says. “Things are put together by coincidence, and yet they become an extraordinary collection.”

You could say the same about the widely encompassing assortment of art, internationally sourced artifacts, and antiques in the expansive South Loop loft—in a former tire factory—where Cave, 53, makes his home with a roommate. The objects are visually diverse, but everything, down to the handblown glass cups, was chosen for its ability to inspire. “It’s [about] creating a space that brings me closer to truth and creativity,” says the artist. “It’s important for me to wake up to what my beliefs are.” To see ten of the things that most inspire him, see below.

 

10 Things He Loves

HANDCRAFTED CROSS

HANDCRAFTED CROSS
“After my brother passed, I went to clean his apartment. Under his bed, I found a black cross he had made. I created an artwork that supports it.”

 

 

WEDDING RING BY TERRY WARE

WEDDING RING BY TERRY WARE (Prices for similar styles by request, terryware.net)
“I had this ring designed for me. On the inside, it reads: ‘Married to Art.’ I am, first and foremost.”

 

 

RAD HOURANI BOOTS

RAD HOURANI BOOTS ($1,125 for similar style, radhourani.com)
“These boots are timeless. With them, I have a leaner silhouette.”

 

 

PAINTING BY JOHN KIRBY and MIDCENTURY PUCCI SUIT

PAINTING BY JOHN KIRBY
“I needed this painting. It’s the stillness that got me. I know what it’s like to be still and quiet.”

AND

MIDCENTURY PUCCI SUIT
“The fit is unbelievable. Back then, patterns were all made by hand. Now they’re done by machine.”

 

 

AFRICAN BEADED CHAIRS

AFRICAN BEADED CHAIRS
“I am only interested in the authentic.”

 

 

MIXED-MEDIA ARTWORK BY MICHAEL SCOGGINS

MIXED-MEDIA ARTWORK BY MICHAEL SCOGGINS (Prices for similar pieces by request, freightandvolume.com)
“I read this every night. What it says about our times—that this is the age of endearment, the age of selflessness, and so on—is what I believe.”

 

 

MOROCCAN PORCUPINE QUILL VESTMENT

MOROCCAN PORCUPINE QUILL VESTMENT (Prices for similar pieces by request, douglasdawson.com)
“It served a purpose within a community. I have to achieve the same level of truth in my work.”

 

 

CERAMIC DOG COLLECTION

CERAMIC DOG COLLECTION
“Of course the dogs aren’t real, but for some reason I feel like I’m rescuing them.”

 

 

ANTIQUE QUILT

ANTIQUE QUILT
“The makers left some of the paper patterns, which are love letters.”

 

Photography: Anna Knott

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