Raul De Nieves

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What is my artwork about?

I create environments in which the observer can inhabit a landscape of fantasy, humor, and psychological transgression. My work spans a variety of mediums including music, painting, sculpture, performance, fiber arts, and installation, and through an interplay of craftsmanship and perverse experimentation, I ultimately strive toward the observer’s identification with joy.

Artist Statement

Music was my first introduction into artistic practice. Its potential for commanding consciousness and its promise of collaboration inspired me to conceive of performances that would engage the audience in a way that transcended the complexes of the individual and invoked a super-conscious assimilation. I’m in a three-person musical and performance project HARIBO, which mixes operatic antics and Thrash Metal, at home as much at a basement show as in an art gallery, and through props, costumes, and physicality, we commit to arousing a visceral experience in the viewer. My musical practice has continued to include collaborative works. This past year I co-wrote an experimental opera named for a Tarot character “The Fool” which integrated mantras, prayers, and choral chanting in a mix of Spanish, English, and Latin to spotlight the transformative potential of the combined human voice. Community becomes both a theme and a method for working in my practice.

I’ve hand-made many of the props, costumes, and sets for both HARIBO shows as well as for “The Fool” opera, and these pieces insist on an aesthetic thread between my musical performances and the other mediums I work in. For example, the meticulous beading in the opera’s set pieces echoes the beading in my sculptures, and the Tarot iconography repeats the references to folklore imagery and religious symbols referenced throughout my paintings and wallhangings. As well, the knitting and embroidery in the costumes are akin to the textile work in my doll-like sculptures. With these objects, and my presentation of them, I also strive to invoke the same affect as I do through performance. The sculptures of shiny plastic beaded shoes and amorphous choral-like abstract shapes in bright candy colors, both blooming in exuberant organic forms, invoke a feeling of playful desire and a yearning to touch. The life-sized sculptures of giants and infants loom on garishly mirrored pedestals set on floors meticulously designed in architectural patterns together warp perspective. And, my paintings stretch across the canvas with kaleidoscopic bursts of hyperactivity that create a sense of metaphysical incorporeality.

There are other conversations I frame with my work. My sculptural shoes and work with textiles reorient ideas of practicality and beauty around apparel, and the evidence of Mexican culture in the artisanal practices that I reinterpret raises notions of identity that my work simultaneously attempts to eschew with its supra-individual affect.

Ultimately, my multidisciplinary practice uses comedy and discipline, beauty and subversion to chiefly engender an empowering and transformative change in the viewer.



b. Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, 1983
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY


Im in A Story 2015 Installation Dimension variable Los Angeles California, MaRS Gallery
Thank You with Erik Zajaceskowski, Black & White Project Space, Brooklyn NY

Changes with Alexandra Drewchin 2013 Mixed Media Installation and Performance Secret Project Robot, Brooklyn, NY

Smile X three, Live with Animals, Brooklyn, NY

Riddlin Doors, Newman Popiashvili Gallery, New York, NY

De feet of Joy, Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin, DE


Rock Hound Swap Meet, Junior Projects, New York, NY
California Fantasy, New Image Art, Los Angeles, CA

All that Glitters, The Gateway Project at 2 Gateway Center, Newark, NJ
The Pink Show, Cat House Funeral, Brooklyn, NY
Assembled, Temp Art, New York, NY
Manic Panic, Shoot the Lobster, New York, NY

The best people, 1:1 Projects, New York, NY
Crafted, TEMP Art, New York, NY
The Reveal, LOYAL Gallery, Malmo, SE
ARTPLAY, Moscow Design Week, Curated By NUMERO RUSSIA Magazine, Moscow, RU
ORGANZIED, Sobering, Curated by Robert Janitz, Paris, FR

TRO-PI-CAL, Curated by Geir Haraldseth, Akershus Kunstsenter, Lillestrom, NO
Welcome Home, Secret Project Robot, Brooklyn, NY
Sex Life, Curated by Asher Penn,Bodega, Philadelphia, PA

Movement Research Festival, New York, NY
The Believers,Curated by Lizanne Marrill, Big Screen Plaza, New York, NY

The Automatic Theater, Curated by Lisa Jugert, HBC, Berlin, DE
La Rana En Cama, STYX Projects, Berlin, DE

Know New York, Cinders Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
The Gods We Are, Yautepec Gallery, Mexico City, MX
Fever of Unknown Origin- An Incorrigible Opera, Basso, Berlin, DE

SHOES!, Gavlak, West Palm Beach, FL
Monster Island, Secret Project Robot, Brooklyn, NY

Red Badge of Courage, Curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud National Newark Building, Newark, NJ
I Die for Beauty,Curated By Omar Lopez-Chahoud  Newman Popiashvilli Gallery, New York, NY
Secret Robot Project, Brooklyn, NY
Mongoloid, with Vashti Windish, Live With Animals, Brooklyn, NY

DUMBO Arts Under the Bridge Festival, Gnostic Temple, with Micki Pellerano, Brooklyn, NY


The Fool with Colin Self, Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, NY
3 Slices of PIE, Boffo, Fire Island, NY
Burning Head Collage, Zabludowicz Collection, London
Originale, The Kitchen, New York, NY

It’s Get Better, Presented by Stewart Uoo, Artist Space, New York, NY
HARIBO, Performa13, Afterhours, New York, NY
Bunkerweltanschauung, MoMa PS1, Curated by Gavin Russom, Long Island City, NY

HARIBO Illuminati Island 2, Tidens Krav, Oslo, NO
HARIBO & Raphael Amadeus Frankenstein, Fitzroy Gallery, NY
NEXTTIME, White Box, Curated by Colin Self, New York, NY

Performa 11, Fluxus Concert, Curated by Mark Beasley, Zach Layton And Lawrence Kumpf, New York, NY
HARIBO, Real Fine Arts, Brooklyn, NY
Mirror-Mic-Knife, MoCA Miami, Curated by Ruba Katrib, Miami, FL

Brooklyn Is Burning, MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center,Long Island City, NY

Weimar New York, A night of Performance,Curated by Earl Dax, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA

Voodoo Zombie, Gavin Brown Enterprises, New York, NY
Enochian Chrysalis, Newman Popiashvilli Gallery, New York, NY


I- be Area, a film by Ryan Trecartin, in collaborative performance as Ramada O’Mar’s character

K-Coreal INC K (section a), a film by Ryan Trecartin, in collaborative performance as Mexico Korea (MK) character

Xavier Cha: Body Drama, Whitney Museum of American Art, Performer, New York, NY
Dis_RT, MOMA PS1, Performance as Lindsay Lohan curated by DIS Magazine

Vida’s Perfectas By Robert Ashley, directed by Alex Waterman, Serpentine Gallery, London.

Friends Of Dorothy, By Tara Mateik, WOW!, New York, NY, Performance as Dorothy #2, NIle Rogers
Center Jenny, a film by Ryan Trecartin, in collaborative performance as Jenny
Coma Boat, a film by Ryan Trecartin, in collaborative performance as Scooter

Vida’s Perfectas By Robert Ashley, directed by Alex Waterman, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Vida’s Perfectas By Robert Ashley, directed by Alex Waterman, Marfa Ballroom, Marfa, TX
“Vida’s Perfectas By Robert Ashley, directed by Alex Waterman, Museo de la Revolucion en la Frontera, Cuidad Juarez, MX
La Isla esta encantada con ustedes, A film by Alexander Carver and Daniel Schmidt


Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, NY
Clock Tower, New York, NY
BOFFO Artist in Residency, Fire Island, NY

H.B.C, Berlin, DE

FountainHead Residency


Document Journal, The New Generation by Bjarne Melgaard
Haribo: Shrieking outside the box, Village Voice by Sophie Weiner

Opening Ceremony, “Remember when people used to like opera” by Whitney Mallet
Hyperallergic, “An opera of Voice, Space, and Place” By Chloe Nelson
Purple Fashion Magazine, “THE FOOL” by Elise Gallant
Art News, The shape of Opera to come, by John Chiaverina
Opening Ceremony Talking Abba and bedazzled heels with Raul de Nieves, by Jessica Chou

V Magazine, “The De Nieves Effect, by Jospeh Akel
Fader Magazine, “twisty, Turny Rosary Necklaces, By Alex Frank
W Magazine, “Rave New World, Photographed by Mario Sorrenti, Styled by Panos Yiapanis March Issue
Harpers Bazzar, “Singular Beauties: An Homage to the Diversity of Women, Photographed by Karl Lagerfeld, Styled by Carine Roitfield
Numero China, “Mode”, Photographed byTxema Yeste, Styled by Tim Lim
Fader Magazine, Interview by Emilie Friedlander

Sex Magazine, Interview by Analisa Teachworth
Sex Life, ARTFORUM, December, Critics Picks, By Katherine Rochester
Bomb Magazine, “Performance”, By Natasha Stagg