Raul de Nieves
I make art because it makes my connection to others clearer—whether through the work itself or in my collaboration with other artists, which is a large part of my practice. I strive to create a shared experience where undervalued objects are allowed to flourish in new and renewable contexts. In much of my practice, I use materials that are easily obtainable or incidentally on hand. This has allowed me to give life to a variety of mundane objects, something that might not have much inherent value or no longer serves any purpose, and offer a new beginning through labor and contemplation. As an artist, I am inspired by the traditional craftsmanship of my native country of Mexico, and are conceptually derived from icons of history, spirituality, fashion, and subculture.
In my work, I seek to question disposability in contemporary culture and the interchangeable identities of mass-produced objects, from textiles and garments to beads and other decorative material, by transmuting those materials through my artistic labor into new objects with new meaning. The rhythm of such labor induces a state whereby the object takes on an internal drive of its own. For me, care and attention infused with emotional interest form objects of beauty.