Nicki Cherry (they/she) is a nonbinary artist born in the Midwest and based in New York. After initially studying to become a particle physicist, Cherry received their MFA from Yale School of Art in 2019 and their BA from the University of Chicago in 2014. They presented their first solo exhibition at the Border Project Space in July 2021. Group exhibitions include Flux Factory, ELM Foundation and Shin Gallery in New York; AUTOMAT and Icebox Project Space in Philadelphia; and the Reva David Logan Center for the Arts, and Slate Arts and Performance in Chicago. Cherry’s work has been featured in Arte Fuse, Coastal Post, Art of Choice, and Floorr Magazine.
Cherry is a 2022 AIM Fellow at the Bronx Museum of Arts. Cherry will present a solo exhibition at NARS Foundation in 2023.
My sculptures are active sites of growth and decay—tulips bloom from stretching tendrils, ceramic bodies leak milky fluids, spine-shaped candles burn and diffuse scent. I build up bloated and monstrous figurative forms with pigmented concrete, fiberglass, wax, and resin. The attention to surface detail in my sculptures mirrors how the condition of human skin can externalize illness or emotional states. I punctuate these alien forms with recognizable objects: I place sculptures on medical stools, tether them to visible circulation systems, and adorn them with bandaids and back-braces.
Although many people have experienced pain and anxiety in their lives, these conditions can feel incredibly isolating. By embracing the weird, awkward, and absurd as well as externalizing their physical and mental states, my sculptures invite a connection between themselves and the viewer. Through this bond, my work creates the potential for healing and kinship.