Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Nick Cave to get half-naked, homoerotic statue in his hometown

Photo: Xavier Torrent (Getty Images)

A shirtless Nick Cave, his bad seeds swaddled in a loincloth, straddling a bucking stallion as he hoists a flaming torch could soon pop up somewhere besides the deepest recesses of your subconscious, unbidden but surprisingly not unwelcome, whenever you listen to “Stagger Lee.” The Guardian reports that this graven image may soon be made reality in the singer’s small Australian hometown of Warracknabeal, where it would compete with the Wheatlands Warracknabeal Agricultural Machinery Museum for most confusingly arousing tourist attraction. Cave, an ardent student of symbolism, has himself called it “a rather beautiful piece of homoerotic art.” Bronze statues are, by and large, terrible. But exceptions can always be made.


The idea of capturing Cave as some mythical warrior-poet commander of the sex cavalry began, believe it or not, as sort of a joke. After sculptor Corin Johnson suggested to Cave the idea of mounting a statue in his birthplace, former Bad Seeds manager Rayner Jesson humorously suggested that Cave be astride a horse “a bit Ned Kelly style,” and Jesson’s obvious, sublimated sexual feelings for Cave—but just joking, ha ha—eventually evolved into a final design that Johnson describes as “Louis 14th meets spiritual outlaw.”

You can see the miniature version that Johnson created for both Cave and the Melbourne Arts Center below and at Johnson’s website, where you’ll also find a photo of Cave galloping up behind a coy, naked Jesus who seems pretty into it.

Photo: Corin Johnson

Originally, part of the joke involved making the statue, then just dropping it in the middle of Warracknabeal one night to be discovered and, eventually, worshipped by its townspeople. But now it’s going to be a bit more official: Warracknabeal Arts Council and Cave fan is planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign this August to raise the $200,000 needed for the statue’s completion, in larger-than-life, 110-percent size. (Any money left over will then go to the Cave Youth Arts Foundation.) And with that backing, it’s hoped that soon fans will begin flocking to Warracknabeal to gaze upon Nick Cave’s glistening golden torso, which will one day poke, Ozymandias-like, out of the dunes to remind future generations that Nick Cave was a badass.


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