What was argued was that Robert Mapplethorpe made beautiful objects and definitely made beautiful art AND Jesse Helms was right to take offense - those photos were intended to create offense for anyone who did not share Mapplethorpe's values.
That also makes some sense.
He didn't want the crass stupidity of the market, nor the dead paternalism of the institutional world; he wanted an art world that walked the fine line between the two: art that was beautiful and brilliant and beauty, again, for Hickey means "something experienced that gives pleasure from breaking expectations".
He includes a new essay about how beauty works. At about this time, Hickey and art historian Libby Lumpkin, recently married, were settling into Las Vegas, embodiment of the consumer verve and social fluidity of both the era and Hickey's critical ethic.
So Hickey let The Invisible Dragon fall out of print.That also makes some sense. At about this time, Hickey and art historian Libby Lumpkin, recently married, were settling into Las Vegas, embodiment of the consumer verve and social fluidity of both the era and Hickey's critical ethic. In a decade Shanghai might become an even more cosmopolitan and pagan city. His claim is that beauty forms new constituencies around itself. It's not a particularly American thing, but a cosmopolitan thing, and we will continue to have it as long as we remain idolatrous and pagan; as long as we remain cosmopolitan, which I think we're losing. For example, the virtue of John Smith's virtuous novel about loving people is irrelevant IF no one likes reading John Smith. When I was his student, his The Invisible Dragon was kicking the shit out of the art world, bellowing that discussing the virtue of an artwork is worthless unless that art work is loved by a constituency. Dave Hickey discusses the work of Raphael, Andy Warhol, Caravaggio, and Michel Foucault, traversing centuries of ideas about aesthetics, sexuality, religion, and culture. For example, a pile of leaves in a gallery th I studied with Hickey years ago and it was fantastic. His opinions about art and culture became art world bywords.
Hip also is timing, and the book came out right when the art bubble was beginning to inflate, art was becoming smart and new money was jumping in to buy. Conversely, Hickey valorised the art market as the true arena for art that the public democratically validated by coveting and buying.