ABOVE: WRITER AND EDITOR SARAH NICOLE PRICKETT AT A FRIEND’S HOUSE IN NEW YORK, OCTOBER 2014. JUMPSUIT: ALEXANDER WANG. COSMETICS: DIOR, INCLUDING DIORSHOW LINER WATERPROOF IN CARBON, SOURCILS POUDRE IN SAND, ROUGE DIOR LIPSTICK IN PRUNE DAISY, AND DIOR VERNIS IN NUIT 1947. MAKEUP: SIR JOHN FOR DIORSHOW/STREETERS.
Sarah Nicole Prickett came to art writing by way of an evangelical Christian upbringing in “small-time suburban” Canada, half of a journalism degree, a stint doing fashion writing in Toronto, and an “occasionally wild life,” as she puts it. She moved to New York in 2012 at age 26 and has since written for various arts publications (including this one, for which she profiled Parker Ito and Anicka Yi). She also co-founded the journal Adult, a handsome magazine of erotically flavored art, essays, fiction, and comics; the second and most recent issue features an interview with painter Cecily Brown, an essay on the misanthropic writer J.-K. Huysmans, and a photographic profile of actor Udo Kier.
Prickett, who lives in Brooklyn, considers herself “a generalist or a dilettante, and not specifically a contemporary art critic.” Early on, she found solace in the New Yorker writings of Jamaica Kincaid, who wrote “as an outsider in a world of insiders.” It’s an attitude Prickett distinctly feels within the art community. (She recently failed to identify Jeff Koons after having a conversation with him during a reported “Scene & Herd” piece for Artforum.) The strength of Prickett’s writing often comes from smart, big-picture observations. In her discussion of Jay-Z’s notorious “Picasso Baby” video shoot at Pace Gallery in 2013, she wrote, “The difference between a performer and a performance artist: the former makes you at ease, and the latter doesn’t.” Her longer, more introspective pieces exude a clipped, self-aware style that recalls Joan Didion, whose sentential rhythm inspired a series of x tattoos on Prickett’s fingers. (She also has a Cy Twombly back tattoo.) “I like to find the art and the pulse in all manner of things,” she says. “That’s why erotics suits me, and the magazine, best as a category. Erotics is the opposite of straight or narrow.”