Bad taste is real taste, of course, and good taste is the residue of someone else's privilege.

— Dave Hickey

The most satisfaction Dave Hickey quotes that will inspire your inner self

Beauty is and always will be blue skies and open highway.


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.


Out of sheer perversity, I followed beauty where it lead, into the silence.


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.


Beautiful art sells. If it sells itself, it is an idolatrous commodity; if it sells anything else, it is a seductive advertisement.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Gossip is the currency of the discourse, so you should shut up about yourself.

Never confess, never explain, never apologize, and never complain.


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.


About Dave Hickey

Quotes 26 sayings
Profession Art critic
Birthday December 5, 1940

Martha Stewart contributes more to our civility than the Baptist Church.


I hate all that woozy political and psychotherapeutic crap applied to books and art.


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


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.


My mother was an economics professor.

I'm proficient in math, and statistics, game theory, symbolic logic and all of that.


I'm retiring because my time is up.


Art editors and critics - people like me - have become a courtier class.


If I go to London, everyone wants to talk about Damien Hirst.

I'm just not interested in him. Never have been.


I don't think the government should touch art.

Governments are risk averse. They encourage risk-averse personalities to be artists.


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."


Art has political consequences, which is to say, it reorganizes society and creates constituencies of people around it.


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.


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