Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $19.95
  • Save: $3.99 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Air Guitar: Essays on Art... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy Paperback – August 2, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.96
$3.92 $0.01

Ace the ACT.
Wiley Architecture, Construction, & Design Sale
Save up to 40% on select architecture, construction, and design guides during August. Learn more.
$15.96 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy
  • +
  • The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty, Revised and Expanded
  • +
  • Dave Hickey: Pirates and Farmers: Essays on Taste
Total price: $51.98
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

Dave Hickey's twenty-three "love songs," which make up Air Guitar, fly off the page to offer the reader a vista beyond the wasteland. In Hickey's "vast, invisible underground empire" of pleasure--record stores, honky-tonks, hot-rod shops, art galleries, jazz clubs, cocktail lounges, surf shops and the like--joy abounds and truth speaks. -- The Nation, Margaret Juhae Lee

Finally obliged to theorize his impolite tastes, judgments and ideas, Hickey lays his prejudices a little barer than altogether becomes them. Even caught in that old trap, however, he's as good as it gets, starting with his prose. Although his diction is often highfalutin (he was doing a doctoral thesis about Foucault and Derrida way back in 1967), his rhythms aren't, and he's more than fluent in colloquial English--I mean, the guy can flat-out write. -- Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review, Robert Christgau
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Art Issues Press; 1st edition (August 2, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963726455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963726452
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Scranton on September 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dave Hickey, cuts loose and speaks to the reader in vibrant tones and tempos in his collection of essays on life,drugs,art, and an ideal democracy. Be it a recollection of his childhood growing up with Jazz and joints, his academic years, with Brakhage and Warhol flicks, or his "dealing" days trading a piece of paper with a signature on it for another, Hickey somehow relates the residue of everyday life to Art and Democracy. At times his seductive writing can become so subconciously numbing, that one may want to pinch themselves once in a while to make sure they are not simply ingesting his information as fact...yes his writing is that good, but beware, and be critical!
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
"Air Guitar" is Hickey's characterization of critical writing, it's direct relationship to its subject(s) being of approximately equal import as a person playing air guitar in his living room is to a rock concert. In the words of Vladimir Horowitz, the concert pianist, it is "the words without the music." That being said, it's damned interesting, all the same, especially when approached this way. Hickey's favorite technique is to take two seemingly disparate things and to discuss the way in which they inform each other, all the while examining the net effect on his life as your basic, educated, ambitious Joe trying to fill the "great gap of time" between birth and death with a mind boggling array of interesting experiences. In this way, they're more 'think pieces' than academic essays. I'll admit, there were moments when my brain hurt; but most of the time, I was enjoying his company and his facility for mental gymnastics -- and the obvious pleasure he took in it personally. I heard of this book on a radio interview (Fresh Air? Diane Rehm Show?) and bought it specifically so that I could have my own personal copy of "My Weimar" -- a spectacular, 'where am I in the grand sceme of things now' type touchstone. Reading the whole book as a part of a recent essay jag, I found it all equally challenging, equally enjoyable.
Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of essays which demonstrate how art functions in American society on a day to day, experience to experience way. Each essay is written in a conversational tone, as to invite the reader into the story through personnal experience and avoid the frequent erudite, elitist, and exclusionist text commonly associated with art theory. Each story is easy to relate to and encourages one to think about everyday incidences as a form of art and its relation to formal art. This book represents the thoughts of an artist both in what it says and how it says it. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read and educational tool for artists.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
OK, granted, this is this first thing I've read by Dave Hickey, so I may not be giving his overall legacy a fair review. I know he's been around for awhile and has made numerous contributions to many top-notch magazines and journals. This book was recommended to me by a guy in a Williamsburg bookshop, and despite the pretentious accusation of 'genius' slapped on the front cover, I glanced through the book (spotting some obviously great writing) and bought it on the spot.
I was really taken by his unabashed, intimate style for several chapters of the book, until he began his defenses of art dealing and art criticism and his pompous attacks on 'spectators' versus 'participants' (are critics participants?) in his version of the art world. Sorry Dave, this doesn't wash and you know it --- simply announcing that 'Art is not a commodity' simplifies a huge can of worms best dealt with by Debord or even Hakim Bey, not by an art dealer aspiring to belong to this community, rather than getting dirty in the spectating and profiteering himself. When I hit the end of a couple of these verbose defenses of his history of 'dirty occupations', I was left thinking, 'Is it that important you were an art dealer?', or 'Who really cares that you're an art critic?'.
I simply want to be regaled with tales of Sigfried and Roy, or stomp in the boots of Hank Williams, or read Dave's ridiculous opinions on Chet Baker and, most importantly, laugh (or even smile out loud). This is where he is at his best, and consequently where the book shines. It is great writing, indeed, but too bad Dave feels it's necessary to namedrop and pontificate to purge himself from the sea of soulless art critics. Just do what you do best, and write!
Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on October 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I to was assigned to read this for a college course and picked up the book with the usual lack of excitement that goes along with reading an assigned text. I was surprised to find myself half-way through the book in one night and having to make myself put it down to continue on with other assignments. The author vividly describes scenes from life in a way that takes you on a journey into someone else's life. You can hear the saxaphones, smell the cigarette smoke, touch the flowers...it's really unbelievable the way the author picks you up and takes you away. It's also nice to have a book of short essays...great for people who get bored easily and enjoy a change of subject and scene. The book sets up a new image and feeling with each essay. You never find yourself stuck on the same topic or bored with the content. The book keeps you moving and thinking from start to finish. Loved it.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: democracy