Raúl de Nieves
Plastic beads, fiberglass, glue
40 × 24 × 12 inches
Private Collection Berlin
Born in Michoacan in 1983, De Nieves grew up in San Diego. The artist’s mother, an avid maker always engaged in craft-based work, owned a daycare and cared for many children and families. She passed these two ways of being in the world—making and caregiving— on to her son. They are illustrated by these meticulous sculptural assemblages of abstracted, yet warmhearted, human forms. De Nieves understands labor to be an act of creation. He also considers acts of care, like those extended to others by his mother, to be a social practice. In 2018, the artist crafted a suite of “babies” in homage to his mother, each donning a monochrome hue of sparkling beads. Each sculpture was given an individual name—Elizabeth, Bethany, Logan, Evie, Rosha, and Sunny—and stands at the height of a toddler. With newness in their eyes, each figure represents the beginning of the life cycle and the intersection of reproductive, emotional, domestic, and artistic labor.
–Risa Puleo, Curator