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Nick Cave as you’ve never seen him before – cast in bronze and on horseback

6 July 2018

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

To Warracknabeal, Victoria, which may soon become home to the world’s newest instance of questionable rock-star statuary. According to reports, locals of this small town are set to launch a fundraising campaign aimed at erecting a monument to its most famous son: Bad Seed, balladeer and all-round Renaissance man Nick Cave.

Despite his mantle as the thinking man’s rock-star, Cave is not known for his shy and retiring countenance. Appropriately, then, Corin Johnson, the sculptor who dreamt up the statue, hasn’t done things by half: the final design presents a torch-bearing, larger-than-life-sized effigy of the singer clad in a loincloth and mounted atop a rearing horse. Which is all very art historical, as some Twitter users have pointed out:

Cave is neither a noted equestrian nor possessed of a minimalist dress sense (he is rarely glimpsed out of a tailored suit). But Johnson admits that his vision was influenced by a healthy dose of camp: ‘The design changed a couple of times […] There was a lot of humour involved’, he told the Guardian. (For what it’s worth, Cave himself has described it as ‘a rather beautiful piece of homo erotic art’.)

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