Bob Nickas

  • ETERNAL RETURNS: THE ART OF VERNE DAWSON

    In the distance, a jumbo jet takes off from Newark; others circle in a holding pattern, awaiting clearance to land. Nearby, some nature lovers make their way nakedly through chest-high grass in the Meadowlands. All is wildly verdant, as if this were a primeval landscape, the marshy bog from which life first bubbled forth. For the passengers on those planes, flung out of or back in time, the frequent-flier points will have to be measured in light-years, and the drink carts won't roll down the aisles soon enough.

    What's wrong with this picture? Well, nothing really, unless you mind elements of the

  • Art Chantry

    “LOVE US, HATE US; we don’t give a fuck.” Such was the spirit back in the day. Although I got through punk/no wave (East Coast Division, class of ’79) relatively unscathed, I can’t recommend this attitude to the seriously career-minded. Even the sidelines can be dodgy. Fandom—especially when it is directed toward those who don’t put their own work on a pedestal—is not unconflicted. Take my love for the work of Art Chantry (West Coast, class of ’75). When he started making posters for Seattle punk shows in-the late ’70s, mostly no-budget Xerox affairs, such ephemera was considered, to borrow his

  • Bob Nickas

    IF THE PROM SCENE FROM CARRIE HAD BEEN STAGED by Jack Smith as an episode of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, it might have looked something like Amy O’Neill’s Post-Prom, an installation for a group show in Dijon in 1999. Instead of blood pouring down, there was a confetti rain machine. A rainbow of balloons hung limply overhead, and beer bottles rolled underfoot. The decorations had a homemade, happy-sad authenticity. Every so often during the opening, an unseen force shook the refreshment table. When people dropped a vote for prom king and queen into the ballot box, a hand would reach up (like Thing from