Nick Cave

In an anxiety-riddled and tumultuous time, Nick Cave wants his art to transcend gender, race, and class by presenting something that forces viewers to think outside their comfort zone. With that in mind, his window at Barneys Madison Avenue uses various found objects to create a one-of-a-kind take on his signature Soundsuit figure. “A Soundsuit conceals identifying characteristics, forcing you to look at it without judgment,” says Cave. “When we release ourselves of societal categories and boundaries, we can more easily connect universally through Love, Peace, and Joy. We need, as a nation, as a world, and as a collective whole, to come together as one.”

Cave and fellow artists Rob Pruitt, Ebony G. Patterson, Studio Job, and Trey Parker and Matt Stone were tasked with evoking the spirit and ideals of Love, Peace, and Joy for both our Downtown and Madison Avenue holiday windows. Cave was given Peace, and not surprisingly, he interpreted the value in his own unique way. “I started to think about peace in terms of pieces of things,” he explains. “I approached the word differently, thinking about this separateness that is able to come together and make a whole.” He used found objects, ranging from wood to synthetic hair, that carry a variety of cultural references to create a hybrid that’s at once familiar and entirely new. “Nick has the most extraordinary ability to create these objects that in and of themselves are miraculous,” noted Barneys Creative Director Dennis Freedman.

Barneys New York: Launches Love Peace Joy Project for Holiday 2016
“We used the Buddha position and the face of this figure is this 4-foot round disc that rotates very slightly, which really talks about the universal connection to love, peace, and joy. That’s what I’m trying to talk about—we need as a whole, a world, a collective nation to come together as one.” -Nick Cave

And though this is his first time partnering with a retailer, Cave says there are “couture sensibilities” in the high level of craft found in his art. “I wanted this to remain very much art-driven and not commercially driven. I really wanted it to be an art experience that’s framed within the retail setting,” says Cave, who admits he’s interested in the conversation between art and fashion and how the arrangement of objects in his work might inspire a weaving, textile, or garment.

Barneys New York: Launches Love Peace Joy Project for Holiday 2016
“Nick has the most extraordinary ability to create these objects that in and of themselves are miraculous.” – Dennis Freedman

At the end of the day, the most important thing for Cave is that in our fast paced, rushed world, his window can offer an opportunity for people to stop and feel something. “It’s about how to create something that will stop someone in their tracks—even for just 10 seconds. What is the takeaway? For me, I want there to be a moment of dreaming. I want people to feel the energy from the particles in space that all of a sudden formulate a figurative sculpture. A moment where everything is abstract then suddenly makes sense.”

Love Peace Joy Project is on display now through January 3, 2017 at our Madison Avenue flagship. 

Plus, we’re inviting you to take part in our Love Peace Joy Project via our social campaign #LovePeaceJoyProject in support of Amy Schumer and Leesa Evans’ STYLEFUND and the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation. Find all the details here.