Raúl de Nieves is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, and musician whose multifaceted practice ranges from stained-glass-style narrative paintings to animated performances, to densely adorned figurative sculptures encrusted with bangles, beads, bells, sequins, and other homespun materials. These opulent, joyful sculptures reference traditional costumes in Mexican culture and modes of dress from drag, ballroom, and queer club cultures, while also evoking religious processional attire and the outfits worn by circus performers. All of his works share a distinctive visual language that draws from Mexican craft traditions, religious iconography, mythology, and folktales to explore the transformational possibilities of adornment and the mutability of sexuality and identity.
Raúl de Nieves (b. 1983, Michoacán, Mexico) lives and works in New York, NY. De Nieves has had residencies at ICA, Philadelphia; NY Clock Tower; and H.B.C. Berlin; among others. Institutional solo exhibitions include The Treasure House of Memory, ICA Boston, Boston, MA (2021); Eternal Return & the Obsidian Heart, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, FL (2021); Reemerge the Zero Begins Your Life, Eternal is Your Light, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2020); and Fina, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (2019). Major recent group exhibitions include The Musical Brain, The High Line, New York, NY (2021); Comunidades Visibles: The Materiality of Migration, Albright-Knox Northland, Buffalo, New York (2021); Glow Like That, K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong (2019); A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA (2018); On Site, Swiss Institute, New York, NY (2018); Fly Into the Sun, Watermill Center, New York, NY (2017); The Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2017); and Greater New York, MoMA PS1, New York, NY (2015). De Nieves’s work is in the permanent collections of Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston, MA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA.