Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy

By: Hickey, Dave

Price: $19.95

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Book Condition: New


New. No dust jacket as issued. Brand New! Support Radical Independent Pacific Northwest Booksellers! Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 216 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. As enjoyable and provocative a book of criticism as anyone has published in years. Rolling Stone "Dave Hickey's prose transports are like an eye attached to a butterfly attached to a rocketship which is to say, lucidity uncannily yoked to both a deft lightness of touch and sheer gangbusters propulsion: the down-to-earth, time and again, taking off and taking flight. generosity of the man's verve the suppleness of its profusions can get to be downright ravishing. On top of which, the guy's really funny. " Lawrence Weschler, critic, New Yorker 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, 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 stores" from automotive design to series television to Saturday-morning cartoons. emphasis in these 23 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 Siegfried & 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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The 23 essays (or "love songs") that make up the now classic volume Air Guitar trawl a "vast, invisible underground empire" of pleasure, through record stores, honky-tonks, art galleries, jazz clubs, cocktail lounges, surf shops and hot-rod stores, as restlessly on the move as the America they depict. Air Guitar pioneered a kind of plain-talking in cultural criticism, willingly subjective and always candid and direct. A valuable reading tool for art lovers, neophytes, students and teachers alike, Hickey's book--now in its eighth printing--has galvanized a generation of art lovers, with new takes on Norman Rockwell, Robert Mapplethorpe, Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol and Perry Mason. In June 2009, Newsweek voted Air Guitar one of the top 50 books that "open a window on the times we live in, whether they deal directly with the issues of today or simply help us see ourselves in new and surprising ways," and described the book as "a seamless blend of criticism, personal history, and a deep appreciation for the sheer nuttiness of American life."
Dave Hickey (born 1939) is one of today's most revered and widely read art writers. He has written for Rolling Stone, Art News, Art in America, Artforum and Vanity Fair among many others.

Title: Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy

Author Name: Hickey, Dave

Categories: Essays,

Publisher: Art Issues Press: 1997-08-02

ISBN Number: 0963726455

ISBN Number 13: 9780963726452

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

Type: Paperback

Seller ID: Alibris0009354