Nicki Cherry is an artist presently based in New Haven, Connecticut and Queens, New York. Her most recent work examines the subjective character of embodied experience through configurations of bodies, posture, and prosthetics. The forms are made of carved foam that is layered with fiberglass, epoxy, cements, waxes, and pigments. These forms exist as shape-shifters: different body parts can be read across the forms and they appear as figures in the midst of a state change, reorganizing their bodies or emerging from a clump of material. By leaning into the swinging range of emotions that having a body brings about—fragility, aspiration, emboldenment, clumsiness, discomfort, awkwardness, self-satisfaction, and failure—her sculptures allow for a heightened awareness of our mind’s tangled relationship to our bodies.
Artmaking has not always been how Cherry navigated her interests in the body and mind—she initially went to the University of Chicago as an undergraduate with the intention of becoming a physicist. Upon accidentally enrolling in a sculpture course and deciding that art was a more dynamic framework to analyze her interests, she switched into the visual arts department. After graduating UChicago in 2014, she attended Tyler School of Art’s Summer Painting/Sculpture Intensive. She has exhibited her work nationally in a variety of galleries and artist-run spaces, including Icebox Project Space (Philadelphia), Archer Beach Haus, the Reva David Logan Center for the Arts, Slate Arts and Performance (Chicago), and Green Gallery (New Haven). She is currently pursuing her MFA in Sculpture at Yale School of Art.