Raúl de Nieves

Celebration, 2020

Mixed media
8 × 5 feet
Courtesy of the artist and Company Gallery, New York

To learn how to make the Day(ves) of Wonder stand on its own, de Nieves engaged in an inverse process by un-building another sculpture. The remnants of this sculpture form the installation, Celebration. The original sculpture featured an androgynous person in the process of giving birth, the beginning of the life cycle. Partially a portrait of his mother and also one of himself, de Nieves undertook the act of destroying this original sculpture in a ritual-like process, making Celebration from the remains of a sacrificial act. Positioned low to the ground, the broken body in space is reminiscent of a death ceremony or funeral. With each presentation of this work, the installation accumulates more materials in celebration of its former life and the new dimensions it occupies. Celebration is an altar in perpetual evolution and dissolution, simultaneously coming into and leaving behind being—much like the image of the ouroboros that figures prominently throughout the exhibition. As its name suggests, Celebration is an accretion of time, history, and experiences that celebrates the act of destruction while demonstrating that failure is a kind of rebirth in and of itself.

–Risa Puleo, Curator