Review: Nick Cave: Chasing The Myth @ Proud Galleries.

Proud Camden launched its latest exhibition entitled Nick Cave: Chasing The Myth on 2 September. With Cave’s hotly anticipated documentary 20,000 Days On Earth due to hit UK cinemas in a couple of weeks, the gallery’s look back at portraits spanning his career is a timely move.

This collaborative exhibition features work by Amelia Troubridge, David Arnoff, Andrew Whitton, Steve Double, David Corio and Viliam Hrubovcak. Images of a youthful, almost playful Cave and his early band The Birthday Party are juxtaposed with later portraits of a more serious and intense artist at work, whilst the most recent photos include a shot of Cave with the rather less menacing Kylie Minogue.

Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue on set of 20,000 Days On Earth; Brighton, 2013 © Amelia Troubridge

Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue on set of 20,000 Days On Earth; Brighton, 2013
© Amelia Troubridge


Highlights of the exhibition include a stunning shot of Cave on a balcony overlooking Sao Paolo, taken by Steve Double, in which the artist appears to emanate a halo-like light around him as he throws his glance back over the landscape. Another memorable inclusion is David Arnoff’s striking portrait of Cave entangled with Lydia Lunch, taken in the toilets of the Roxy on Sunset Boulevard.


Nick Cave in Sao Paolo, Brazil, 1994 © Steve Double

Nick Cave in Sao Paolo, Brazil, 1994 © Steve Double


Arnoff attended the opening night and had a quick chat with me about his sessions with the musician. He described Cave as friendly and easy to deal with and how Lydia Lunch, who was the support act at the venue that night, had helped organise the toilet moment with Cave. He laughed and said that when he was recently looking back over his work, he discovered he had a surprising number of bathroom locations for band shoots – a place of some privacy (and convenience – no pun intended) when only able to grab a short time for a band shoot at a gig.


By featuring a number of photographers, this exhibition presents a range of angles on the artist via the different approach of each photographer. From a fly-on-the-wall shot taken in a squat and an informal portrait with Cave holding the photographer’s flash unit his hand, to dramatic posed studio shots with stark lighting and an elaborately staged portrait of Cave in his Brighton office surrounded by books, pictures and a piano, there are many myths to identify and chase.

The launch of 'Nick Cave: Chasing the Myth' at Proud Galleries in London on 2 September 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

The launch of ‘Nick Cave: Chasing the Myth’ at Proud Galleries in London on 2 September 2014 (Imelda Michalczyk)

An intriguing walk through some moments in the career of an unusual and compelling artist, this exhibition is well worth a look. You might also consider bathrooms to have more photographic location potential than you previously thought possible…

Nick Cave: Chasing The Myth runs until 2 November at Proud Camden. For further information go to Michalczyk reviewed and photographed. Imelda has her own great site here:

This is a wonderful collection of Nick Cave images by Imelda from the gig at Hammersmith Apollo in October 2013 plus some recent related shots.

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