What is Beautiful and What is Ugly?

Review of Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth by Samantha V.

Have you ever seen a creature that had a body made out of what looked like twigs or hundreds of plastic hula skirts? There is one way for this to be possible: you might have seen one of artist Nick Cave's inventions called a "Soundsuit". The Seattle Art Museum has had many great exhibits come through its doors and Meet Me at the Center of the Earth is one that, like Picasso, I had to see. A lot of the materials that are on the soundsuit my Mom and I could easily have made or found ourselves, but it is how they are put together in such wonderful mix-matched harmony that makes Mr. Cave the professional artist and not us.

As I make my way up to the forth floor of the museum, I can't help but almost skip in anticipation. Then as I walk in, I am welcomed by a 6 foot tall grizzly bear made out of sweaters! You wouldn't believe how many different things this guy can find uses for: baskets, buttons, granny squares, those little plastic tabs you find on new clothes, human hair and so much more. On my way through the exhibit, I found some pieces I really liked. There were these two huge circles of black fabric covered in beads, sequins, and embroidery. One reminded me of the stars twinkling on a clear night, the other of a floating garden. A soundsuit covered in dolls greatly resembles what my room looked like when I was six.

At the end of this exhibit there is a little shop full of things of Nick Cave's own design that you can buy - for a price. The leggings run for $240. They are designer after all. Other then that, I was completely satisfied with the way things went. This exhibit challenges us to break down the barriers that society has put up. Throughout the whole thing I was daring myself to ask "What is beautiful and what is ugly?", and I found that something I would have thrown out can with a little work be changed into something priceless. I'm so glad that SAM is giving us a chance to see this beautiful ugliness for ourselves.

Nick Cave: Meet Me At The Center of the Earth
Seattle Art Museum
Now through June 5, 2011

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