The Art of Nick Cave: Critical essays
University of Chicago Press
The Bad Seeds.
Et cetera, et cetera.
The incarnations and collaborations of Nick Cave are manifold as is the quality of his artistic emissions, the breadth of which have some perceive him as a renaissance man.
The Art of Nick Cave illustrates Cave’s creative drive in a manner that will intrigue both the hardcore aficionado as well as the uninitiated, as it not only chronicles his multi-disciplinary contributions but also sheds light on them from an array of different angles, i.e. the critical essays have been penned by art critics, historians, psychologists and pedagogues.
Being an avid fan of Cave’s art, I find that the book does a great job at peeling away the layers of his emissions to a point where it adds dimensions to what can be interpreted on the surface.
While this might not seem to be a huge accomplishment given the often elusive and intricate nature of Cave’s approach to writing, it made me view some aspects from a different angle and lends perspective, especially since whatever he does is blindly celebrated by a devoted following that borderlines on the religious in terms of enthusiastic dedication.
Now, I am not saying that reading the critical essays is essential in a bid to find access to and enjoy Nick Cave and what he does, but it offers additional insights from academics, most of which display an astute understanding of his significance while still maintaining an objective viewpoint and only sometimes overinterpret and analyse in a manner that seems contrived.
The focus is on the 1990s, one of the more significant decades of Nick Cave as it builds up to him becoming a veritable mainstream popstar.
A book that provides a lot of interesting insights and facts and more than once made me revisit songs that I had not been listening to in more than a decade, only to reignite a new fascination for them.