For years, Raúl de Nieves has blurred lines between fine art and fashion design, positioning himself as an inspiration for the likes of Vogue and Lady Gaga. He is perhaps best known for his beaded shoe-sculptures, crafted in a rainbow spectrum matched by his figurative painting. De Nieves makes his debut in Los Angeles tomorrow with “I’m in A Story”, at MUSEUM as RETAIL SPACE (MaRS). Inspired by his native Mexican folklore, Catholic symbolism and fairytales, the exhibition loosely adapts two stories; Colin Self’s chamber opera The Fool (which starred the artist) and the episode of Saint George and the Dragon. Between his decorative images and glittering objets d’art, one can’t help but think of Gustav Klimt, who was also influenced by religious art. Where Saint George is a hero of victory over evil, The Fool essentially has to overcome his own fears. In the opera, an old woman tells him, “With the loss of fear one can be a wandering spirit, and soon will choose where the spirit is to go.” Their figures emerge like ghosts through layers of abstract shapes and checkered colors. Painting as if he’s weaving a textile, De Nieves describes his art as a “fairytale disguised in fashion”- it’s significance presented in a glamorous way.
“I’m in A Story” by Raúl de Nieves exhibits at MaRS February 13 through April 1, 2015.
Portrait of the artist