I'll admit it: I once found myself in a fancy art-talk conversation about Nick Cave, not realizing that everyone else was talking about Nick Cave the artist, and I was talking about Nick Cave the musician. (At least I didn't start dropping Nick Cage references though, right? "How'd you like that Con-Air, Mr. Gagosian?")
But one look at the work Chicago-based artist, dancer and performer Cave has under his belt (sometimes literally), and I transferred all of my love and admiration for one Nick Cave right on over to the other. Sure, I still enjoy "The Mercy Seat" as much as the next guy, but artist Nick Cave has serious chops: His Soundsuits are some of the most original — and most exciting — art pieces around. New York Times critic Roberta Smith has this to say about Cave's work: "Whether Nick Cave's efforts qualify as fashion, body art or sculpture, and almost regardless of what you ultimately think of them, they fall squarely under the heading of Must Be Seen to Be Believed."
Cave will be in Nashville to give a lecture at Lipscomb on April 2, and I haven't been this excited about a visiting artist since Trenton Doyle Hancock spoke at Vanderbilt last month. (Here's a warning: University campuses are notoriously difficult to navigate for the uninitiated. If you're anything like me, give yourself plenty of time to get lost, ask for directions, find parking, and then get lost again.) If you're familiar with Cave's work, you'll likely already have this event on your calendar. And if you're not, there's lots of time to research his work and become a Cave convert as well. I've tried to make it easy for you by including a bunch of his Soundsuits after the jump. I'm trying to save you the embarrassment of questioning why The Death of Bunny Munro deserves its own art talk.