Raúl de Nieves, Fina Wisdom, 2019. Vintage military suit, sequins, metal bells, threads, glue, cardboard, plastic beads, tape, trims, mannequin, dimensions variable. Private collection. Courtesy the artist and Company, New York. © Raúl de Nieves
New York–based artist Raúl de Nieves (b. 1983, Michoacán, Mexico) is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, and musician whose multifaceted practice ranges from stained-glass-style narrative paintings to energetic performances, to densely adorned figurative sculptures encrusted with bells, beads, bangles, sequins, and other everyday materials. These opulent sculptures reference ritual costumes in Mexican culture and evoke other global theatrical traditions, from Japanese kabuki to circus performance to religious processional attire. De Nieves’s distinctive visual language draws from Mexican craft traditions, religious iconography, and mythology to explore the transformational possibilities of adornment and the mutability of identity. This is his first museum presentation in Boston.