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Say hello to Rodney

Peter Wollen: How art becomes kitsch, 17 February 2000

The Artificial Kingdom: A Treasury of the Kitsch Experience 
by Celeste Olalquiaga.
Bloomsbury, 321 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 7475 4535 9
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... by the new American art world’s most beloved critic, the Las Vegas-based Liberace-loving Dave Hickey. Hickey began his rehabilitation of Rockwell in ‘Shining Hours/Forgiving Rhyme’ (Art Issues, 1995), a text that was unashamedly nostalgic in its appreciation of Rockwell, harking back to the writer’s own ...

Not Rocket Science

Alexander Nehamas, 22 June 2000

On Beauty and Being Just 
by Elaine Scarry.
Princeton, 134 pp., $15.95, September 1999, 0 691 04875 4
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Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy 
by Dave Hickey.
Art Issues, 216 pp., £15.95, September 1998, 0 9637264 5 5
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... it into the longing for truth and equality ends in failure. At the other extreme from Scarry, Dave Hickey, one of the most original critics writing in America today, answers the question of why we love beauty very differently: we love it simply because of the pleasure it gives us. Hickey sees Scarry’s moralism as ...

Looking for Imperfection

Gilberto Perez: John Cassavetes, 23 August 2001

John Cassavetes: Lifeworks 
by Tom Charity.
Omnibus, 257 pp., £10.95, March 2001, 0 7119 7544 2
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Cassavetes on Cassavetes 
edited by Ray Carney.
Faber, 526 pp., £17.99, March 2001, 0 571 20157 1
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... interviewer asked him about the difference between movie-acting and stage-acting,’ as Dave Hickey reports the occasion, Robert Mitchum said the difference was that the audience watching a movie believes what they’re seeing is real. ‘Not the story,’ he said, waving his hand, ‘but the setting and the props, the mise en scène … If ...

All That Gab

James Wolcott: The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides, 24 October 2019

Sontag: Her Life 
by Benjamin Moser.
Allen Lane, 832 pp., £30, September 2019, 978 0 241 00348 0
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... sightings, as if both were autographing the air with their presence. ‘Back in the 1980s,’ Dave Hickey recounted, ‘I stood at a party watching the ever watchable Sontag, who had taken command of the opposite corner of the salon. She was showing us her profile, standing with her arms folded, swathed in scarves, her black mane accented by that ...

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