Nick Cave
American fabric sculptor, dancer, and performance artist



We do our best to use images that are open source. If you feel we have used an image of yours inappropriately please let us know and we will fix it.


Our writing can be punchy but we do our level best to ensure the material is accurate. If you believe we have made a mistake, please let us know.


If you are planning to see an artwork, please keep in mind that while the art we cover is held in permanent collections, pieces are sometimes removed from display for renovation or traveling exhibitions.

Nick Cave
American fabric sculptor, dancer, and performance artist

Birth Date



The first time I stumbled upon a Nick Cave piece (at the Seattle Art Museum) my initial reaction was one of confusion. Thinking of musican Nick Cave, of the Bad Seeds, it just didn't seem plausible to me that such a sinister frontman could lead a double life as the creator of whimsical, bejeweled ceremonial robes.

I was right. This Nick Cave is an African American artist who grew up in central Missouri with seven brothers. Early in his career, Cave designed window displays at Macys in NYC. He also did a stint in fashion design, and trained as a professional dancer with Alvin Ailey. These days he's known widely for his garment-like fabric sculptures and his performance pieces. 

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Nick Cave (performance artist)

Nick Cave (born February 4, 1959 in Fulton, Missouri, United States) is an American fabric sculptor, dancer, and performance artist. He is best known for his Soundsuits: wearable fabric sculptures that are bright, whimsical, and other-worldly. He also trained as a dancer with Alvin Ailey. He resides in Chicago and is director of the graduate fashion program at School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Early life and education

Nick Cave was raised in central Missouri, by a single mother. He is the youngest of seven boys, and the family was of modest means. Cave attributes his interest in found objects and assemblage to his childhood circumstances.

Cave learned to sew in the fiber department of the Kansas City Art Institute, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1982. He began studying dance through an Alvin Ailey program, both in Kansas City and New York City. He also did some graduate coursework at North Texas State University. Cave earned a master's degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 1989.

After moving to Chicago, Cave became the chair of the Department of Fashion Design at the School of the Art Institute in 1990.

Nick Cave used performing arts, text tile arts and literary arts.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Nick Cave (performance artist).