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Art Critic Dave Hickey On Facebook's "Wasted Words" And The Lack Of Good Art


Dave Hickey's books "25 Women" "Wasted Words" and "Dust Bunnies"

Art critic Dave Hickey left Las Vegas and UNLV five years ago.

But he will return Saturday to talk about his three new books, including "Wasted Words". It includes some of the 3,000 Facebook posts written from 2014-2015 -- and how none of them could spur serious conversation.

"You don't write your best on Facebook," Hickey said. "I don't even consider it writing ... I tried to generate some serious discussion. I couldn't. The book is a testament to my failure."

Hickey said the most he could ever get out of people who responded were a series of puns.

"Dust Bunnies" is a collection of his remarks during that Facebook period. 

Hickey is Nevada’s only MacArthur Foundation genius grant winner, which he received for art criticism in 2001.

And, though he turned 75 in December, Hickey shows no sign of slowing down – or holding back.

He also said he wrote the book "25 Women," after going over some of his essays about art and realizing that almost all of them were about female artists.

"Women are much more complicated than men," he said, and that complexity comes out in their art.

As for the state of the art world currently, "We're kind of in a dead space, but we've been there before," Hickey said.

He said the art world has been divided up between the auction houses and the universities. Hickey said he hasn't seen a lot of art that he wants to write about.

He is speaking at the Contemporary Arts Center in Soho Lofts in downtown Las Vegas Saturday





Dave Hickey, art critic

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.