‘Far From Respectable,’ by Daniel Oppenheimer book review

‘Far From Respectable,’ by Daniel Oppenheimer book review

About 30 years ago, a former Texas kid, surfer dude, frat boy, grad student in linguistics, gallery owner, chain smoker, art critic, alcohol and amphetamine abuser, magazine editor, country music journalist, rock-and-roll band member, songwriter and semiotician named Dave Hickey sat down to write a series of essays on the idea of beauty, particularly as it applied to Robert Mapplethorpe’s X-rated photographs of male homosexual acts. The essays were published in 1993 as a book titled “The Invisible Dragon” by a small but well-regarded Los Angeles art press. That book was followed in 1997 by “Air Guitar,” another collection of essays, this one dealing with subjects ranging from Andy Warhol to Liberace. Ten years after he began the first book, Hickey was arguably the most influential art and cultural critic in America, the winner of a MacArthur Fellowship.

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