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Portrait of an Artist - Anthony Hassett

Dec 20, 2012 08:24AM ● By Scott Blackwell

Name: Anthony Hassett

Artistic Medium (or media): Chinese ink, watercolor markers, acrylic and glaze medium.

Southwest Connection: I arrived in Taos in the winter of 1978. I had just been expelled from the state of Colorado for protesting at Rocky Flats. After three months in jail I
decided that I needed at least three months in the woods. So I found a tipi and a bag of mushrooms and made my way to Llano Que Mado, just outside Taos. That's the short version.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment: In the Bible it says that Moses was shown the "hindquarters" of God. I too have seen the hindquarters of God. And lived
to tell the tale.

What do others consider your biggest accomplishment: Probably that I've found success making art most people find disturbing or distasteful.

Favorite artist - Why: That's a very difficult question. Probably Goya. I'm very fond of Neo Rausch and Francis Bacon, too. And Marlene Dumas. And Nancy Spero. Not to mention Leon Golub. What they all share, and what I admire about each of them, is their courage, their social conscience, and their very forward-moving inventiveness.
Not a slouch among them.

Your biggest inspiration: The planet Earth, especially that certain magic in nature wherein organisms creatively diverge from fixed limits. The knowledge that a storm
can drive a piece of straw through a shovel-head, or that through some transversal
sorcery a caterpillar can become a hummingbird moth. This excites me. I find a similar
thaumaturgical power in poetry and literature. Writers like Artaud, William Burroughs, Melville, produce an alchemical change in my brain that feels like I'm being ravished
by The Lord. But at the end of the day I have to say my mate, Erin, is my biggest
inspiration. She electrifies me.

If I wasn’t an artist, I’d probably be : A violent monk.