Nickesse Toney, a NOLA bounce artist and rapper who went by the name Nicky Da B, is dead at the age of 24. Details on the cause are still scarce, but his manager told The Times-Picayune that he died of a “short illness.”
Twenty-two hours ago On Kawara’s Twitter feed published a single message: I AM STILL ALIVE. The account publishes that same message every day, and has done so since 2009. The updates are probably automatic, and not authored by the artist himself. He died yesterday at the age of 81.
My friend Misty, a.k.a. Miss Demeanor, was an art-world icon. She’s captured in one of photographer Nan Goldin’s most famous photos, “Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a Taxi, NYC.” The photo, from 1991, was shot during the day—an unusual time for drag-queen starlets to be dolled up in wigs and heavy makeup. A couple of years later, it was published in Goldin’s book The Other Side, featuring a slew of edgy gender-benders.
Misty was found dead earlier this month in her apartment in Long Island City. I don’t know the cause. We only recently re-entered each other’s lives, and there was much about her that I didn’t know.
Yesterday was a bad day for art. Gagosian announced they will be hiring Derek Blasberg, Editor-at-Large for Harper’s Bazaar, to do lord knows what (I mean that literally, as he’s not got a position), and Hudson, the founder of Feature Inc., died. The first bit of bad news isn’t worth much discussion. Blasberg is just another jewel in an empire that values culture by the money and influence it has behind it, not the ideas it contributes to society. Hudson was different. He cared about art just as much as the business, and in these times, that kind of loss will be felt.
John Hightower passed away on July 6th, at the age of 80. He will be remembered as a tough-as-nails, populist administrator who changed the course of state funding for the arts, served as MoMA’s director during a time of social upheaval, and invigorated the South Seaport Museum.
Roger Ebert’s death has saddened me perhaps more than that of any other critic. I spent a lot of time on reading reviews and the chronicling of his illness on his blog, so I felt an unusual kind of closeness. I am easily seduced by personal blogs, and he was a master storyteller.