The Invisible Dragon (30th anniversary edition)

Dave Hickey

The Invisible Dragon (30th anniversary edition)
Art Issues Press,U.S.
United States
24 October 2023

The Invisible Dragon (30th anniversary edition)

Dave Hickey

The 30th anniversary cloth edition brings back into print Dragon's four essays on beauty and commingles them with newly discovered essays by the MacArthur Foundation 'genius'.

Art by Caravaggio, Bellini, Velazquez, Raphael, Warhol and Mapplethorpe is complemented by Hickey's tributes to Dolly Parton and Richard Pryor, outing of John Rechy's gay novel Numbers, essays on the art of writing and witty analysis of paintings by Ed Ruscha. An afterword by Hickey's friend and Dragon's editor queers the brash, heterosexual gambler as it situates the creation of Dragon squarely within the AIDS plague. At the time, the book made beauty visible under the looming presence of death and bodily decay. Today, Hickey's prescient diagnosis of the 'therapeutic institution' resonates even louder and artists respond by harnessing beauty as a source of meaning and of joy.

Dave Hickey (1938-2021) was one of the preeminent arts and cultural writers of the turn of the 21st century. A MacArthur 'Genius' Fellow known as the 'beauty guy' in the popular press, Hickey opened A Clean, Well-Lighted Place gallery in Austin, Texas, in the 1960s, before becoming executive editor at Art in America magazine. In the 1970s, he was a songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee, where he coined and helped create the 'Outlaw country' music movement. By the 1990s, Hickey had made a home in Las Vegas, from where he regularly traveled to speak with audiences worldwide.

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