Anthony Hassett / April 17, 1958 - February 17, 2017

The Art of Anthony Hassett

by Anthony Hassett

ISBN 978-1-937487-79-9

Paperback $19.99

Paperback: 5.5x8.5” (140x216mm) / 126 pages

 

     Hassett’s distinct drawing strokes — instinct with genius — defy the norm. They hardly define, rather they observe. Their portrayal is too vivid to leave room for the idea that the figures before us could ever be positioned otherwise, have superfluous lines or colors, or any other facial expression. If we can grasp his independent soul, we may begin to understand his liberated spirit. In this freedom, he is master of the elements of assertion and situation. The observer may approach Hassett’s art as he chooses. Some facet of it may resonate with him. He may scrutinize all aspects of it, in all the ways it strikes him, and arrive at various conclusions — he is free to make his own interpretation. So it is that the main strength of Hassett’s work is in bringing before us all the vitality of life and all the back and forth in fleshy lustiness and spirit. Placidly it presents before our intelligence the broad realm of human thought, action, undertaking, fatality, and the conundrums of this world: Nazism, the death penalty, sex abuse, beauty, Christianity, suicide, UFOs, ghosts, martyrs, eroticism, opium, police, the divine, and so on. Amazingly, his style increases the distance that separates us from ourselves, and the things that surround us; in it lies the true reality, a welcome call to open our eyes. It comes to us in a variety of profiles, directly in touch with our era. This is the mark of an intense talent. He draws the immediate. His art puts our daily life on hold, makes us suspend our habits; it settles a layer of knowledge between ourselves and materiality. Great authors force us to view things differently. Hassett’s creative skill opens out the whole of mankind before us, and it invites us to look at the world from within.    


 

Last Poems, 2016-2017, Anthony Hassett

Format: 5.5x8.5" - 140x216 mm

Paperback ISBN 978-1-937487-78-2  Hardcover ISBN 978-1-937487-79-9

 

Anthony Hassett wrote most of these poems during the final

months of his life when struggling with terminal illness. Hermetic

in style, his poetry is the response of an ever-inquisitive, rebellious,

yet magnanimous mind, to the unspeakable cruelty and beauty of

the human realm. Hassett’s gaze is direct and sustaining — willing

to fully engage in the physical world in pursuit of emancipatory potential.

His voice is of both an unapologetically well-read intellectual

and an anarchistic nomad, crafted and honed from a half-century of

travel and Gnostic pursuit.

Last Poems is of particular value and poignancy because the work

presents a rare glimpse into the visceral subtleties of a failing body

that is documented by a vital, enduring, and expansive mind. Hassett

was a keen and fearless observer of the ambiguities of his own

internal condition, and, equally so, if not more critically of, the state

of the external world; the result is a seamless articulation of all that

he encounters. Dantesque in its transformatory power of the imagination,

this sensual work is at once physical and metaphysical; literal

and symbolic; containing bursts of humor, as well as moments of

scathing critique.

Last Poems is ultimately a condemnation of what is, but also a poetic

guidebook of what could be: revelatory in its humble, but magnificent,

instances of grace.


Anthony Hassett writer poet CSF Publishing Gazette book
Gazette, ISBN 9781937487614

 

Gazette, Anthony Hassett

Format: 5.5"x8.5"

Pages: 78 - Color

Paperback: ISBN 978-1-937487-62-1  eBook: ISBN 978-1-937487-61-4  

 

The accordion style pages of Anthony Hassett’s travel albums are hand-drawn, colored, and glazed works of art -- at once visual poems and illustrated critiques: letters of love and condemnation culled from a constant abysmal penitence. Hassett has traveled, lived, written and drawn his poems and images in forty countries, occasionally stopping to exhibit his books in cities like Berlin, Buenos Aires and New York. A Naropa Institute dropout, Hassett has studied with William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, whose refined and incomprehensible insults continue to inspire his own dream to produce his own degree of oblivion, or minor literature, or both. When in the United States, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hassett’s life has been an unceasing and courageous half-century of philosophical inquiry, civil disobedience, defiance of existing socio-political structures, flagrant rebellion, and pursuit of the Real, of which this -- Gazette, his first in a series of forthcoming volumes -- can attest. It is a fine and significant addition to the art of poetry.


Anthony Hassett writer poet Gazette book CSF Publishing
Anthony Hassett, New Mexico 2011

  

Of Anthony Hassett’s multiple incessant genius, he is best known in small quiet circles abroad for his humor, and known domestically for his oft-times caustic critiques in various art magazines. That of the poet, the painter, the cultural and political journalist, the philosopher, can be glimpsed for the first time in this dynamic volume that is at once boldly public and profoundly personal, and that combines Hassett’s powerful poetic voice with his equally powerful renderer’s hand. As an “angel-headed” adolescent, Hassett was among the first disciples of the Beats: the 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 with his thumb pointing skyward. By the time he reached the classrooms of William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg at Naropa Institute in Boulder, Hassett’s early life was already one of uncompromised nonconformity, intentional obscurity, and above all, radiant poetry. His life continues to embody Marcuse’ “Great Refusal”, and has found him variously in jail cells with infamous political dissidents; in the salons of Nepalese poets and photographers; deported from Morocco; arrested in Athens; in detention by British military in caves beneath the Rock of Gibraltar; at dinner tables with famed writers and filmmakers in Rome, Paris, Istanbul, NY, and LA; and on the sofas of Sandinistas, Chavistas, Panthers, and Weather Underground; at a porn theatre on Christmas Eve in New Jersey; in Copacabana, Bolivia on the Day of the Dead; in riots in Chile; at Marxist-Lacanian conferences in Berlin; in confinement in Frankfurt during the Chernobyl meltdown; in Beijing and Stockholm with Kung-Fu masters; at tango parlors in Buenos Aires; at temples in India; in Tahrir Square with a million Egyptians.


Words And Wanderings With Anthony Hassett

APRIL 3, 2017 – Riot Material

by Dahr Jamail

On Saturday, January 21st, 2017, Tony welcomed me into he and Erin’s warm home. Greeting me at the door with a big hug and smile, Tony, despite his ongoing lengthy battle with cancer, was his usual self: cracking gallows humour jokes about his health, about the newly inaugurated President Trump, the cop-rotten planet, and so much more. 

We went out to breakfast, as though it were old times. I’d spent much time in Santa Fe a couple of summers years before, during which one of the highlights was also getting to go share coffee, breakfast, talk, and joking with Tony, and sometimes Erin. After breakfast, Tony took me to his show. I felt honoured and privileged, and carried those feelings alongside sadness, knowing this was in all likelihood the last of his shows I would get to see, and certainly the last I’d get to see with him giving me a personal showing. I savoured every moment, oftentimes standing shoulder to shoulder with him while looking at a particular piece. 

While viewing his sublime collection, I began asking him to tell me more about particular pieces. Being acutely aware of the aforementioned, I decided to take out my camera and begin taping his comments, as well as snapping photos of much of his work for my personal album. Here are these now very precious clips of Tony discussing his work: