Raúl de Nieves

'Reemerge the Zero Begins Your Life, Eternal is Your Light'

In a series of dazzling installations by artist Raúl de Nieves, the SCAD Museum of Art’s dynamic Jewel Boxes are transformed into a kaleidoscopic terroir, in which majestic depictions of the body take hold.

Utilizing the distinct encasement-like structure of the Jewel Boxes, de Nieves positions his sculptures as allegories within shrines, invoking the sanctity of spaces of reverence. The artist uses the body as a foundation for his sculpture, through which he sublimates spiritual energies into agendered anthropomorphic representations. These bodies, both two- and four-legged, distinctly possess a hauntingly still sense of revelry. The artist’s proclivity toward magical thinking, ritual, and the supernatural is palpable in his chosen motifs, which include the Wheel of Life, Tarot’s wildly powerful character of The Fool, as well as chromatic delineations of the seven chakras. De Nieves limns the spiritual through an amalgamation of mystic traditions, all of which come together via his distinctive technique of beadwork and decorative embellishment. Through his decadent use of plastic beading, sequins, and common textiles, de Nieves defies material hierarchies and indulges in a celebration of life with glamorous adornments of the somatic form.

Signature image for Raul de Nieves exhibition
Raúl de Nieves, "Fina Beauty," vintage military suit, sequins, metal bells, thread, glue, cardboard, plastic beads, tape, trim, and mannequin, dimensions variable, 2019. Image courtesy the artist and Company Gallery, New York.

Reemerge the Zero Begins Your Life, Eternal is Your Light is presented as part of SCAD deFINE ART 2020, the university’s annual program of exhibitions, lectures, and performances held Feb. 18–20 at locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia.

About the artist

De Nieves is a multimedia artist, performer, and musician who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include As Far As UUU Take Me, Company Gallery, New York; Raúl de Nieves: Fina, Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; and When I Look in to Your Eyes I See the Sun, Art Production Fund/Bvlgari, Miami Beach, Florida. De Nieves has taken part in recent group exhibitions such as Glow Like That at K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong; People at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, Los Angeles; ONSITE at Swiss Institute, New York; the 2017 Whitney Biennial; and MoMA PS1’s 2015 iteration of Greater New York. De Nieves has performed at documenta 14, Performa 13, ICA Philadelphia, The Watermill Center, The Kitchen, Artists Space, and numerous other venues. His work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Credits

The exhibition is curated by Ariella Wolens, assistant curator of SCAD exhibitions.

Museum Admission

Reemerge the Zero Begins Your Life, Eternal is Your Light is free and open to the public.

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