Whitney Biennial 2017

Solo en Inglès


An installation view of a work by Raul de Nieves. Beaded shoes in front of a stained glass window

Raúl de Nieves, beginning & the end, neither & the otherwise, betwixt & between, the end is the beginning & the end, 2016. Paper, wood, glue, acetates, tape, and beads, 195 x 456 5/16 in. (495.3 x 1159 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Company Gallery, New York. Photograph Bill Orcutt


Raúl de Nieves: Behind the figures is a series of handmade stained glass windows. The story of the stained glass is the acceptance of not just the body but the surroundings it houses. That's why the fly becomes so prominent. Because in a way the fly is the waste, it's the grotesque part of life. One day, I saw two flies mating in my studio. At that moment, it made me realize that the fly is me or is a part of me and that I should celebrate it and try to think about its facets. The fly has so many facets of where it comes from, where it eats, what it does. The fly in the story turns into joy.

It deals a lot with fears too. Fear of dying, fear of being alone, fear of being forgotten, fear of having a partner, fearing of loving the wrong type of sex, fear of overcoming an obstacle. I also just wanted to have this work have its own performance to really interact with our surroundings. You can still look out and see the city past the stained glass. The sun will monitor how it dances through the day. The artificial lights at night will monitor how people see it through the streets.