Billy Hassell (American, b. 1956)
Crossing the Rio Grande, 2018
“Mother Nature’s stylist,” is how the New York Times
refers to Billy Hassell, whose vivid paintings are studies in stylized naturalism, rooted in a deep sense of place. An artist and conservationist since childhood, Hassell (American, b. 1956) roamed the creeks and uncultivated areas around Dallas and began his life’s work by observing and drawing the lizards and other creatures he carried home in his pockets. He was as fascinated by their patterns and colors as he was by their very existence. Like the natural world itself, his paintings are charged with color and life, their energy balanced by points of stillness. He invites viewers to be quiet for a moment and venture into the wild. This inquisitive artist’s work is influenced by his travels, and though he still calls Texas home, he enjoys getting to know the land and its denizens wherever he goes. Throughout his career, Hassell has created limited-edition lithograph series whose sales support conservation-related organizations such as Audubon Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Big Bend Conservancy.