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Ceremonial Alien of Metal Exits ii

Raúl de Nieves: Mexican, b. 1983 Vintage Sequin Appliques, thread, glue, plastic beads, plastic dolls, ribbons, cardboard

Our latest Textile Conservation treatment was carried out onsite at the beautiful Bird in Hand Winery in the Adelaide Hills. A male and female pair of life-sized sculptural figures.

The adornments had been attached by both stitching and adhesive and many had become detached. The sculptures were cleaned, repaired and then re-cleaned. They are now ready to be placed into display cases and returned to public display.

In Raúl de Nieves’s hands, beads and other humble materials are transformed into dazzling and exuberant figurative sculptures that reflect his Mexican heritage and roots in queer club culture. These shimmering effigies have appeared alongside Nieves’s elaborate glass window pieces and inspired the similarly bedazzled costumes he dons for his performances. The artist’s Day(Ves) of Wonder (2007–14) was included in the 2016 Greater New York survey at MOMA PS1. However, it was de Nieves’s installation for the 2017 Whitney Biennial—where his sculptures were installed in front of a spectacular panoramic stained glass window teeming with mythic motifs and religious iconography—that shot him to fame. A solo exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art followed in 2019. Nieves’s joyful beings serve as vessels for explorations of themes such as sexuality, shape-shifting, and transcendence.

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