Soundsuit #6 by Nick Cave
A Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. Its name and modern popularity as a form of interview is owed to the responses given by the French writer Marcel Proust. Inspired by the popularity and quirkiness of Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire, the editors of Artspace composed one to reveal another side of their favorite artists. Shortened versions can be found on several of the Artspace artist pages, and from time to time we’ll run the complete interviews on A+. Our nineteenth artist is Nick Cave, whose first love was Amsterdam.
When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
When I was a kid. I’ve always made art, but what really triggered it was the first time I saw Michael Jackson on TV and I looked at my mother and said, ‘I’m going to be an artist.’ And I knew it was a visual artist and not a performer. How I was associating with Michael was through a visual sort of thing. That’s when it all happened.
Soundsuit #5 by Nick Cave
What’s your idea of a dream home or holiday?
A dream home is a space that functions as a sanctuary. It’s a place where I can escape. It’s authentic, but it’s simple and peaceful. Right now, a dream holiday would be sleeping for three days straight. Three days of down time to go nothing. It wouldn’t matter where it was.
Who’s your favorite artist?
The German Neo-Expressionist Anselm Kiefer.
What’s your preferred mode of transportation?
Walking—it keeps me connected to the world, which is the feel for my work. Being face to face with it works the best for me.
Soundsuit #4 by Nick Cave
What’s your favorite film?
Harold and Maude — I’ve probably seen it 20 times.
If you found $20, what would you do with it?
At this point in life I would hand it off to someone who needed it, but 10 years ago it would have been a different scenario.
What’s on your iPod?
Shirley Horne’s Here’s to Life. I’ve listened to it every morning for the past 20 years.
Soundsuit #3 by Nick Cave
What’s your idea of happiness?
Living my dream.
What’s your idea of misery?
Not following my dream.
If not yourself, who would you want to be?
What’s your preferred drink?
Water—I don’t drink alcohol.
What’s your hidden talent?
Soundsuit #2 by Nick Cave
What books are on your bedside table?
I just got Not A Toy: Radical Character Design in Fashion and Costume by Atopos and Vassilis Zidianakis
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Haagen-Dazs ice cream—all of the flavors!
What’s your motto or favorite quote?
‘Why be a queen when you can be a star!’ A friend recently saw it written at a Dairy Queen and texted it to me.
What’s your favorite art space?
Maxxi, the new museum of contemporary art designed by Zaha Hadid in Rome. It’s amazing!
Soundsuit #1 by Nick Cave
What would you want your last meal on earth to be?
Soft-shell crabs, for sure, and my Grandma’s lemon meringue pie
Who/what was your first love?
Amsterdam — I love it!
What’s your favorite time of day or year?
My favorite of the day is early morning, like at 6am. My favorite time overall is the opening of one of an exhibition.
The world would be a better place if…
we all worked from a place of truth.
Nick Cave: Ever-After is on view at Jack Shainman Gallery September 8 – October 8, 2011, while Nick Cave: For Now takes place at Mary Boone Gallery September 10 – October 22, 2011. Prints by the artist are available from Artspace.