Dave Hickey Quotes

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  • As my friend Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe has argued persuasively, there is an element of positivity in the visible world, and in color particularly, that totally eludes the historicity of language, with its protocols of absence and polarity. The color red, as an attribute of the world, is always there. It is something other than the absence of yellow and blue--and, thus, when that red becomes less red, it becomes more one or the other. It never exists in a linguistic condition of degradation or excess that must necessarily derive from our expectations.

  • Most famous artists are created by their work and the idea of them as a character, and if they're smart and ambitious, they reinforce that character because they want to win. They want their views to prevail.

    Interview with Sheila Heti, believermag.com. November 2007.
  • It used to be that if you stood in front of a painting you didn't understand, you'd have some obligation to guess. Now you don't.

    "Doyen of American critics turns his back on the 'nasty, stupid' world of modern art". Interview with Edward Helmore and Paul Gallagher, www.theguardian.com. October 28, 2012.
  • Jazz presumes that it would be nice if the four of us-simpatico dudes that we are-while playing this complicated song together, might somehow be free and autonomous as well. Tragically, this never quite works out. At best, we can only be free one or two at a time-while the other dudes hold onto the wire. Which is not to say that no one has tried to dispense with wires. Many have, and sometimes it works-but it doesn't feel like jazz when it does. The music simply drifts away into the stratosphere of formal dialectic, beyond our social concerns.

    Two  
  • Gossip is the currency of the discourse, so you should shut up about yourself. Never confess, never explain, never apologize, and never complain.

    Interview with Sheila Heti, believermag.com. November 2007.
  • I'm retiring because my time is up.

    "Surfing into the Sunset". Interview with Sarah Douglas, www.vanityfair.com. October 24, 2012.
  • Out of sheer perversity, I followed beauty where it lead, into the silence.

  • Even if one succeeds in making a silk purse out of a sow's ear, there remains the problem of what to do with a one-eared sow.

  • Choosing beauty over content (or choosing beauty as content) is always an act of sedition. If we accept the cant of official culture, we must believe that the beauty we steal from any man-made thing is stolen from its more virtuous and metaphysical backstory, wherein "real" beauty is said to reside.

  • ...There are issues worth advancing in images worth admiring; and the truth is never "plain," nor appearances ever "sincere." To try to make them so is to neutralize the primary, gorgeous eccentricity of imagery in Western culture since the Reformation: the fact that it cannot be trusted, that imagery is always presumed to be proposing something contestable and controversial. This is the sheer, ebullient, slithering, dangerous fun of it. No image is presumed inviolable in our dance hall of visual politics, and all images are potentially powerful.

  • I have no evangelical feelings about art at all. I despise art education. Art doesn't lend itself to education. There is no knowledge there. It's a set of propositions about how things should look.

    Interview with Sheila Heti, believermag.com. November 2007.
  • Where do you learn how to act? Not at church. America is a lot more like pagan Rome than we think. We still sacrifice to objects to gain our social goals.

  • When you really respect somebody who does something different from you, your respect is for the quality of the job.

    Interview with Sheila Heti, believermag.com. November 2007.
  • Art has political consequences, which is to say, it reorganizes society and creates constituencies of people around it.

    Interview with Sheila Heti, believermag.com. November 2007.
  • My mother was an economics professor. I'm proficient in math, and statistics, game theory, symbolic logic and all of that.

    "Surfing into the Sunset". Interview with Sarah Douglas, www.vanityfair.com. October 24, 2012.
  • In images,... beauty was the agency that caused visual pleasure in the beholder; and any theory of images that was not grounded in the pleasure of the beholder begged the question of their efficacy and doomed itself to inconsequence.

  • In my experience, you always think you know what you're doing; you always think you can explain, but you always discover, years later, that you didn't and you couldn't. This leads me to suspect that the principal function of human reason is to rationalize what your lizard brain demands of you. That's my idea.

    Ideas  
    Interview with Sheila Heti, believermag.com. November 2007.
  • Art and writing come from somewhere down around the lizard brain. It's a much more peculiar activity than we like to think it is. The problems arise when we try to domesticate the practice, to pretend that it's a normal human activity and that "everybody's creative." They're not.

    Writing  
    Interview with Sheila Heti, believermag.com. November 2007.
  • Martha Stewart contributes more to our civility than the Baptist Church.

  • I think that if you don't like something and it's not easy, you shouldn't be doing it.

    Source: www.believermag.com
  • I hate all that woozy political and psychotherapeutic crap applied to books and art.

    "Surfing into the Sunset". Interview with Sarah Douglas, www.vanityfair.com. October 24, 2012.
  • Beautiful art sells. If it sells itself, it is an idolatrous commodity; if it sells anything else, it is a seductive advertisement.

    Dave Hickey (2012). “The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty, Revised and Expanded”, p.30, University of Chicago Press
  • I don't think the government should touch art. Governments are risk averse. They encourage risk-averse personalities to be artists.

    Interview with Sheila Heti, believermag.com. November 2007.
  • Beauty is and always will be blue skies and open highway.

    Dave Hickey (2012). “The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty, Revised and Expanded”, p.91, University of Chicago Press
  • With the artists, I don't teach, I coach. I can't tell them how to make art. I tell them to make more art. I tell them to get up early and stay up late. I tell them not to quit. I tell them if somebody else is already making their work. My job is to be current with the discourse and not be an asshole. That's all I wanted in a professor.

    Source: www.believermag.com
  • Art editors and critics - people like me - have become a courtier class.

    "Doyen of American critics turns his back on the 'nasty, stupid' world of modern art" by Edward Helmore, Paul Gallagher, www.theguardian.com. October 27, 2012.
  • The idea of political content is irrelevant. Content is irrelevant. I always tell my students, "Never forget you're writing words! You know, word one, word two, word three, word four. The words have to be organized. Nothing else does."

    Writing   Ideas   Two  
    Interview with Sheila Heti, believermag.com. November 1, 2007.
  • Bad taste is real taste, of course, and good taste is the residue of someone else's privilege.

  • If I go to London, everyone wants to talk about Damien Hirst. I'm just not interested in him. Never have been.

    "Doyen of American critics turns his back on the 'nasty, stupid' world of modern art" by Edward Helmore, Paul Gallagher, www.theguardian.com. October 27, 2012.
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We hope you have found the saying you were looking for in our collection! At the moment, we have collected 29 quotes from the Art critic Dave Hickey, starting from December 5, 1940! We periodically replenish our collection so that visitors of our website can always find inspirational quotes by authors from all over the world! Come back to us again!
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