Dave Hickey among commentary at a politically-slanted website recently. Hickey, I learned, is an art critic. I was impressed by the quote of his offered by a commenter, and later wondered if Mr Hickey might be a subject for Arty Farty Friday. It'd make a change from posting about actual painters, photographers, illustrators etc.
Material on the net concerning Mr Hickey, found via Google, was not hard to come by - in fact there's a almost too much of it. I got the impression, after dipping in here and there, that Dave Hickey loves to talk, loves to write, loves to be interviewed, enjoys name-dropping, is highly opinionated, loves to pontificate - but not in an unpleasant way. He seems to be an engaging writer, with many books to his name. He has that easy affectation in his style reminiscent of the writing often found on the back of LP album covers, way back when. I enjoy a little bit of this style - though a little does go a long way. Dave Hickey is really better than that though, it's just one facet of his style.
Art Under Covers
by Suzaan Boettger
Artspace Books has published the delicious Stardumb, with art by East Village artist John de Fazio and stories by Las Vegas-based art critic Dave Hickey. This modest, square volume comes with a hard paper cover like a children's book and weighs only ten ounces. The title makes a punning connection between astrology and art-world stardom; its 12 tales of the art city, set in Chelsea and Santa Monica, each putatively illustrate Zodiacal personality traits.
De Fazio's drawings, which have a bright collaged density that combines scientific illustration and psychedelic designs into faux occult imagery, are lite fun. Hickey's framing of art world types as astrological signs is obliquely interpretive but unnecessary -- his sharply observed stories stand on their own. His attitude toward avaricious artists, compromised collectors, eccentric critics, and yes, the rest of us in the art world just making it, is less fashionably ironic than lovingly wry. This is a treasure you'll hate to see end.
Well, well, well! I've ordered a used copy from E-bay. Sounds like a fun read. I shall report back, one day!
I don't intend to get into paraphrasing online material about Mr Hickey and his personality - instead here are just a couple of pieces to give any interested readers a taste of this guy. And a video (there are many more at YouTube)
Art critic Dave Hickey has never been shy about dissenting
Dave Hickey calls art and culture like he sees it, writing and stirring opinions well past 'retirement.'
By Deborah Vankin in the LA Times
Dave Hickey's Politics of Beauty
By Laurie Fendrich.
He has some hard things to say about Texas in this one!
ASTROLOGY (briefly) ~
Born on 5 December 1940 in Fort Worth, Texas. Chart is set for 12 noon.
With last week's re-airing of thoughts on Via Combusta still in mind I wondered straight away if Dave Hickey would have any personal planet(s) within the Burning Road - he certainly has credentials for it! Let's have a look at his 12 noon chart.
Yep! We find Venus and Mars conjoined, and in the first 15 degrees of Scorpio which make up part of Via Combusta.
A time of birth in the early hours, or at least well before noon would put natal Moon in Aquarius - that'd be a good fit for someone as opinionated as Mr Hickey!
Uranus, rebel planet is in opposition to his intense Scorpio Mercury, from Taurus. That probably supplies something of a balancing act in his nature: rebellious yet earthy practicality in the area of the arts (Taurus is Venus-ruled) balanced by frequent emotionally tinged outbursts in his communication with the public (writings and interviews).
Sun in jovial Sagittarius lightens, softens and makes more palatable any stubborn intensity about issues he holds dear.