Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy

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Art issues. Press, 1997 - Art - 215 pages
86 Reviews
"Air Guitar" is Dave Hickey's "memoir without tears"--a journey through the vernacular cultural landscape of the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. Looking back from the vantage-point of his adopted hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, Hickey speculates on everything from jazz and rock-and-roll to basketball and professional wrestling--from magic and psychedelia to gambling and the culture of "little stories"--from automotive design to series television to Saturday-morning cartoons. The emphasis in these twenty-three essays is on the way "the arts" function in the drift of everyday life, outside the venues of official culture, and on singular "lives in the arts, " lived outside those venues, with meditations on the careers of Liberace, Hank Williams, Chet Baker, Andy Warhol, Johnny Mercer, Norman Rockwell, magicians Siegfield & Roy, and wrestler Lady Godiva. Underlying Hickey's writing is an abiding belief that cultural life in a democracy can, and occasionally does function in a democratic manner, sustained by the whims of affection and the commerce of opinion.

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Best book of art writing ever. - Goodreads
Maybe the best prose I've ever read... - Goodreads
The most alive writing on art. - Goodreads

Review: Air Guitar

User Review  - Wiebke (1book1review) - Goodreads

I feel weird rating a non-fiction about art. Not only because I can't comment on the quality of the content, but also because it is not comparable to any other 4 star books. Now why did I give this 4 ... Read full review

Review: Air Guitar

User Review  - Josh K - Goodreads

A few great essays about art. A bunch of pretty good ones. I do like Hickey's style, though, and respect his thinking. Read full review

Contents

Unbreak My Heart An Overture
9
A Home in the Neon
18
The Little Church of Perry Mason
138
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Dave Hickey has written for most major American cultural publications. Formerly Executive Editor for Art in America, Hickey's publications include Prior Convictions (1989), The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty (1993), and Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy (1997). Hickey received the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism in 1994. He is currently Associate Professor of Art Criticism and Theory at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas 010.

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