By Angela Romeo
“Remember we are all born artists. What we do with that, shapes who we are”
Why? – adverb -For what reason or purpose.
Asking an artist “why” is the start of an amazing journey.
Patrick Hasson is his own work of art. Living his life to create his art is not a simple statement. He is an unconventional as his work. His work begins with a horizontal canvas that Patrick drips and pours paint down onto. Without the use of brushes, he cajoles the paint to create vivid color-soaked paintings.
So, to ask Patrick “why” begins the story into so much more that paint on a canvas.
“Color has a transformative effect of the psyche…you can turn the most dilapidated building into something beautiful with a coat of color. With my own custom colors, [he uses only six custom colors in his palette] I wanted to find the most saturated red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. I feel I’ve achieved that goal.”
“The world is made up of color; a multitude of hues and shades and saturations. I’ve always been attracted to color, moved by color, influenced by color, and I’ve always found it strange that we use the terms ‘white’ and ‘black’ when it comes to describing people. It makes absolutely no sense to me,”said Patrick. “I’m considered a ‘white’ person, yet, when I look into the mirror, I see blue and pink and brown and blonde and red. Even an albino person is pink and blue and yellow and so on. Now, take someone who is considered ‘black.’ They are not black…they are brown and pink and yellow and pecan and so on. White means having no hue, yet we all have hues. Black is also an achromatic color…meaning without hue…and again, we are all made up of different hues and shades and saturations. We are all people of color, yet we continue to use these ridiculously archaic terms (black and white) to describe and group people”
“And to take these terms a step further…white is associated with goodness, innocence and purity; whereas black is associated with death, evil, and aggression we’ve got to destroy these terms. We are all ‘people of color.’ That’s why I love doing portraits….I love bringing out the ‘color’ in people.”
This adherence to being color-blind in color is well documented in Patrick’s solo exhibition, Desert Dudes, now on display at the Arts Center in Yucca Valley, CA. Curated by YV Arts Executive Curator, Michael Mc Call, the selected works will be featured through October 20th.
Desert Dudes is a series of surreal portraits featuring musicians who created the Coachella Valley-based genre of music known as Desert Rock. The work is both a tribute to the work of these artists who often recorded at the world-famous Rancho De La Luna studio in Joshua Tree. Yet there seems to be a hint of bittersweet for a time where art was more human-created and less manipulated by technology.
“When I first moved to LA in 2002, I read an article in the LA Weekly about Queens of the Stone Age and Desert Rock. This was the first time I had been exposed to this genre of music and the more I read about the ‘generator parties’ and Kyuss and the history of Desert Rock, the more I wanted to come out to the desert to see what it was all about. Because Rancho De La Luna was in Joshua Tree, I began taking trips out to Joshua Tree.”
“I wasn’t exactly sure why I continued to come out here, but I knew there was a feeling and a vibe in Joshua Tree that I had never experienced before. The desert seemed to be calling me, but I wasn’t sure why. It wasn’t until sixteen years later that I now know why. The desert is where I was meant to be. And if I was going to have an art show in Joshua Tree, I knew what my subject needed be…the DESERT DUDES. One year and 23 paintings later, the DESERT DUDES opened at the Yucca Valley Visual & Performing Arts Center.”
“The origin, the history, and all the amazing music to come out of the Desert Rock genre is, well, staggering,” continued Patrick. “ The crazy thing to me is that there are people in this area who still have no idea how many musical legends live and continue to create right here in their own backyard. Mario Lalli, Brant Bjork, Sean Wheeler, Dave Catching, Josh Homme, John Garcia, Jesse Hughes, Chris Goss, Bingo Richey, Nick Oliveri, Gene Trautmann, Gary Arce, Joey Castillo, Arthur Seay, Scott Reeder, Hutch, Jesika Von Rabbit, Brian O’Connor, Mark Lanegan, Brendon McNichol, and on and on and on. Desert Rock has influenced me for decades, so I felt it was time to pay tribute to these ‘dudes’ through my art. It’s kind of a no-brainer for me.”
The notion of colorblind in color seems particularly poignant at this time. “We currently have a polarizing force in our country . This leadership has empowered racism throughout the United States. He is putting ‘brown’ people into concentration camps along the U.S./Mexico border – similar to what Hitler did to Jewish people almost a century ago. He has set back women’s rights through a terrifying allegiance with the Christian Right. He is dismantling much of the environmental-protection laws enacted during the Obama administration. Think about the implications of that… this is the most frightening environmental period in our lifetimes. Our planet Earth has about 30 more years until it becomes completely uninhabitable, if nothing changes, to humans, all in the name of corporate greed.”
“There is a faux-Native American legend about the ‘Warriors of the Rainbow.’ The gist of the legend is that a time of crisis will come to the Earth and then a tribe people of many races will come together to save the planet. Although this is a faux legend, I like the idea of a group of people coming together to save Mother Earth. I like to think of myself as a ‘Warrior of the Rainbow’ and if I can use my rainbow-induced art to help environmental causes as well as promoting racial harmony, I’m all about it. In fact, the next series I’m working on is entitled The Revolution Is Now. I’ll be painting portraits of Democratic hopefuls, climate change activists and advocates for social justice.”
And yes, Patrick is his own striking work of art. “Every morning when I look in the mirror, I see the same Irish dude I’ve been looking at for years. But when it comes to my art, I believe it is striking. I spent 20 years making films and the best that I would consider myself is that I am a ‘good’ filmmaker. As much as I tried, I never really found a truly unique style, one that would scream ‘that’s Patrick Hasson.’ Now, when it comes to painting, I feel that my ‘dripping’ style is highly unique (dare I say ‘striking’) and totally different from anything going on in the art world. I believe that I am a ‘great’ painter, the world just doesn’t know it yet. But they will. Hell…maybe I’m the next great American painter? Who knows? I suppose that’s for the art critics to decide. Until then, I’ll just keep cranking out art in my hot little garage studio.”
Why – three letters that open one’s mind. Patrick Hasson – 13 letters that will push one’s mind into a different realm.
DESERT DUDES show to Oct 20th with a closing party October 20th from 4-7pm.
For more about Patrick visit www.patrickhasson.com. The Yucca Valley Visual & Performing Arts Center is located at 58325 Highway 62 in Yucca Valley, California, 92284. The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from 1-6 pm, holidays excluded, and there is no admittance fee.