Raúl de Nieves & Colin Self Harmonize | Art21 "New York Close Up"

Raúl de Nieves & Colin Self Harmonize | Art21 "New York Close Up"

What kind of art comes from friendship?

Artists Raúl de Nieves and Colin Self collaborate in the creation of their chamber opera, "The Fool," staged in February 2017 at Chelsea’s renowned arts space, The Kitchen. A chorus and string ensemble in four acts, "The Fool" is an allegorical journey of discovery—a "characterization of learning," explains Self. "By the time [the characters] finish their journey, they are back where they began."

De Nieves shares how his early fascination with street performances in Mexico piqued his interest in music and performance art. After both recently moving to New York, de Nieves and Self met while performing at the Brooklyn artist-run space Secret Project Robot. "It was just one of those things of watching someone perform and being like oh my gosh, we are from the same universe," Self remembers.

Collaboration is central to both artists' practices and to "The Fool" itself. "My friends teach me how to give, how to receive," says de Nieves. "Without the little help each one of us gives one another, it would actually be very hard to sustain a normal life."

Raúl de Nieves was born in 1983 in Michoacán, Mexico and lives and works in New York. Learn more about the artist at: https://art21.org/artist/raul-de-nieves/

Colin Self was born in 1987 in Portland, Oregon and lives and works in Berlin and Brooklyn. Learn more about the artist at: https://art21.org/artist/colin-self/

CREDITS | "New York Close Up" Series Producer: Nick Ravich. Director: Ian Forster. Editor: Samin Pogoff. Cinematography: Tim Ciavara, Adam Golfer, & Kelsey Smith. Design & Graphics: Open, Urosh Perisic. Artwork Courtesy: Raúl de Nieves, Colin Self. Footage Courtesy: HARIBO. Thanks: Cast of "The Fool," Eben Hoffer, The Kitchen, Matthew Lyons, Jessie Stead, Zack Tinkelman, Nathan Whipple, Jeanette Yew. © Art21, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved.

"New York Close Up" is supported, in part, by The Lambent Foundation; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and by individual contributors.

"The Fool": Starring Colin Self as the Old Woman, Raúl De Nieves as The Fool and the Dog, Alexandra Drewchin as the Child, and Mehron Abdollmohammadi as the Mother. Organized by Matthew Lyons.

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Video Language:
"New York Close Up" series
Format: Youtube Primary Original Synced
This video is part of the Art21 team.