11.29.2016

ANTHONY HASSETT - POET . ARTIST . SWASHBUCKLER

                               


                                 F R O M  T H I S...




T O   T H I S



T O  T H I S



PROLIFIC is an understatement when you're talking about ANTHONY HASSETT, and the word GENIUS comes to mind as well. Perusing his biography suggests a few more adjectives - rebel, philosopher, nonconformist, intrepid traveler...

Anthony Hassett was among the last disciples of the BEATS - mid-century writers and artists whose work shared themes of spirituality, environmental awareness, and political dissidence. He left Venice Beach at the age of fifteen to study with William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg at NAROPA INSTITUTE in Boulder, Colorado. He has since traveled the world, visiting some fifty countries, and living for periods abroad. He is a published poet and art critic; and has exhibited his visual art in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, New York City, Santa Fe, and Taos, New Mexico. 

And, this swashbuckling poet/artist has shared jail cells with infamous political dissidents; salons with Nepalese poets and photographers; was deported from Morocco; arrested in Athens; in detention by British military in caves beneath the Rock of Gibraltar; in riots in Chile; in confinement in Frankfurt during the Chernobyl meltdown...well, you get the picture - all fodder for his vibrant,  accordion books.


His illustrations might be diminutive, but visually and thematically they pack a wallop; capturing, according to Anthony,  THE REALITY BEHIND THE FACADE. Although trained as a writer, he found a limitation in language/words and began using illustrations as text. When I visited his studio - shared with his partner and fellow artist, Erin Currier -  he was in the process of assembling the latest book in his collection that will be showcased at PHILSPACE Gallery during the month of December.



This recent work -  male aggression mixed with self- righteous piety (produced during the resent presidential election) - has been very much influenced by ex-votos and retablos of New Mexico and the Americas.



The detail and symbolism in each drawing is amazing. And most collectors, says Anthony, 
rarely display the full book on a wall; preferring a more intimate view of the
 book; one page at a time....









A few vinyl and cd covers...








 Karen Kuehn and Fine Art Photographer David Michael Kennedy holding her just-published book of photographs - MAVERICK CAMERA at a recent book signing. 

This amazing former NY photographer has 'shot' them all - colorful strangers to iconic personalities;and they are all showcased in this handsome, 348 page coffee table book. Each photograph is accompanied by a 'story' on the opposite page that gives charming snippets into the who and the how of each photograph. 



                         As a photographer I am in awe of how she composes 
                    each shot and captures the spirit and nuance of her subjects. 




MAVERICK CAMERA is available on line 
        www.karenkuehn.com



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