Cave Things: Nick Cave’s Eccentric Online Venture

Nick Cave is a romantic, post-punk authority, singer/songwriter and now, anarchic shopkeeper. Cave Things is a visual playground that is conceived, sourced, shaped and designed by Nick Cave.

Credit: Nick

Nick Cave is a man known to be many things. He’s the former frontman of The Birthday Party, pioneers of the epic sweep of 1980s Australian post-punk. And since 1983, he’s been elating audiences as the vocalist of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He’s revered as one of the greatest living songwriters of our time; a sensitive poet unafraid to tackle the larger themes of love, death, religion, war and grief. To be a fan of Nick Cave is to enjoy a private exploration of the artist’s self-contained world.

Cave Things

On August 6th 2020, Nick Cave Launched Cave Things. Fans of the musician will appreciate the bespoke, unique and one-of-a-kind items available. Exploring a variety of concepts, every item is conceived, shaped and designed by Nick Cave personally.

“There’s all kinds of crazy shit here – a Warren Ellis plectrum, a box of postcards, a bunch of tees, even a poster with the original lyrics to the 1988 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds song, ‘The Mercy Seat’.”

Source: Beat

The storefront is grounded in his dreams, experiments, artist collaborations and explorations.

“The vivid tales he weaves through his music of society’s teeming underbelly—preachers and prisoners and poets, saints and murderers, dripping with Southern Gothic grotesquerie and a faded, decaying glamour— can be keenly felt in the faded Polaroids of Jesus dolls, or the tees featuring the word “mutiny!” written in a Jack the Ripper-esque scrawl.”

Source: Vogue

Fetishistic and Deranged

The musician describes “The Cave” as a store situated beyond merchandise and halting at the point immediately before art. Cave’s wild imagination is on full display, describing the store’s items as the “incidental residue of an over-stimulated mind”. Subversive and mysterious, Cave Things sits in a place entirely of its own.

“It’s the obsessive and dangerous end of granny-core,” he jokes. “Fetishistic and deranged.”

Source: Financial Times

The products are all marred with a sense of nostalgia, seemingly plucked from Cave’s very own home. As a shopper, it feels as though you’re visiting the inner workings of Cave’s mind, deep and often dark.

Realm of the Absurd

Credit: Financial Times

Established in August of 2020, the store enters the realm of the absurd. It features pornographic wallpaper, gothic style drawings on teacups, lucky charms which live in your pocket, children’s colouring books, Cave’s famous tour t-shirts which state “SUCK MY DICK”, temporary tats and religious artefacts. Polaroids are also amongst the content, each stamped with the date and time. As Cave explains,

“Everything that I turn into a Polaroid has meaning – some hidden, some not so hidden.”

Source: Financial Times

In typical Cave fashion, he employs the use of overtly religious imagery in both a devout and devoid manner. A drawing entitled “Mutiny” is a relic from the 1980s, scrawled in Cave’s own blood. Cave’s co-authors explain in his new book, entitled Stranger Than Kindness,

“‘When you’re an intravenous drug user,’ Cave wrote, ‘blood plays a big part in your life.’

The Cave Lockdown

Credit: The Financial Times

Nick Cave has spent the last 12 months with his wife Susie and their son Earl. The pandemic has ironically, provided Cave with the freedom to indulge in his full creative scape. The artist claims to find himself drawing more frequently, taking polaroids, painting, collaging, making films, ceramic sculptures and even designing clothes.

“I’d always done this sort of stuff, but never with such devotion,” Cave admits. “All alongside writing songs, lots of songs.”

Source: The Financial Times

Cave frequently includes visual components which include artworks alongside his songwriting.

“For me lyric writing is extremely difficult,” he says. “My words don’t come easy. Still, I work at it every day. So the other stuff, the visual stuff, Cave Things, is pure play. It makes the process of songwriting tolerable.

Source: The Financial Times

Not Just Another Venture

Cave comes across as an artist with the desire to communicate with his fans by way of art. His personal struggle in 2015 with the death of his son, Arthur, is documented in the film entitled One More Time With Feeling. Two years later, he started The Red Hand Files, a website and newsletter which focuses on communication with his fans. The Cave is not just a commercial venture. Cave enjoys designing products that have immense sentimental value and claims to be proud that he’s designing products which “nobody wants”.

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