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Ashley Longshore

Ashley Longshore

by By Melissa Magsaysay

The Artist Making a Bold Statement with her Art and Infectious Attitude

Each morning, artist Ashley Longshore wakes up, puts a ring on every finger, likely some Gucci track pants and a large chain necklace. The diamonds on her teeth require no application on her part, but along with her other accessories, have become a signature of sort.

“I love track pants. I love to put on my big chain. I love having diamonds on my teeth.” She says. “I love, you know, a little sparkle. I love that fashion is my way of saying, 'I'm completely unique and different in the world'. You know?”

Fashion is just one of the ways the celebrated artist, known for her pieces of pop art featuring subjects like Kate Moss wearing a checkered nun’s habit, a colorful Abraham Lincoln in a Supreme hoodie or sayings such as, “I do not cook, I do not clean, I do not fly commercial”, expresses herself. Her level of candidness, color and radiant positivity permeates absolutely everything she does, and says, for that matter. Beyond the canvas, the New Orleans-based artist is an electric force of life that is on par with the brazen imagery and sentiments that appear on her highly coveted work.

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“Sister Kate” 96 x 72 Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, heavy resin

Between her next level optimism, refreshing aesthetic and infectious attitude, she is an artist for the modern era and a respite in a time when daily news seems endlessly grim. It’s why she has landed collaborations with Gucci, Chloe and Mark Cross. She is also the artist in residence at Bergdorf Goodman, decking out the store windows with her art and curating objects on the store floor.

Fans of her art span from celebrities to fashion insiders including, Blake Lively, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Siriano and Brandon Maxwell. Like many fashion designers, the way in which she goes about creating and marketing her work as a true entrepreneur is as attractive as the work itself. She is empowered and empowers others to take opportunities and just keep moving. Her forthcoming foundation embodies her ethos of taking action and will aim to help young budding artists realize their passion of becoming a successful artist.

Here, Longshore talks about her motivation, inspiration and love of fashion.

Q&A with Ashley Longshore

With all your success, has there been one stand out “pinch me” moment you can recall?

I feel like as an entrepreneur and somebody that was told I would never make it, that every single moment has been a pinch me moment. Whether it was when I collaborated with anthropology and barely got paid anything. Growing from that into having these parties hosted by billionaires and working for celebrities and huge brands like Judith Leiber and Gucci. Then being the artist in resident at Bergdorf Goodman. I mean it's all fucking amazing, but I think at the end of the day we have to go, 'this is America man. Anything is possible'. And that's the world I live in. I stay in that circle right there. I don't wake up thinking about what I don't have. I don't wake up thinking about what opportunities I'm not getting. I don't wake up thinking about another fucking glass ceiling. I wake up and I fucking get it done. You know? So, that's where I'm at.

You were destined to succeed. You have this entrepreneurial spirit no matter what business you would've got into.

I agree with you and I feel like optimism, graciousness and enthusiasm go a long way. It's all about action. If I'm sad, action. If I'm upset, action. If I'm happy, action. There's no time to sit around scratching my fucking ass talking about what other fucking people have and what I don't. Right now it’s about building this global family of people who share the same interests that I do. And to me, my collectors they want to live with my spirit. It's about a lot more than just an image.

Have you always been into fashion? Or did you not look at it as fashion. Just an extension of your art?

I mean I've definitely have been limited as to some of the things I've wanted to wear based on what a lot of designers are making, but I’ve found that I found my style. I love jackets. I've got great legs. I always focus on the things about me that I love not the things that I don't love. I've got great legs. I've got great hair. I've got big boobs. I've got a great personality. I'm going to focus on that and not go, 'I really don't have much of a waist'. I think right now is such an amazing time in this country and what these (size-inclusive) designers are doing because they're going, 'my god. There's a huge amount of money to be made with women who are stylish, gorgeous and have lots of money and have more curves'. You know? This is about optimism and being surrounded by all these different shapes and sizes and beauty and lives. This is not about one particular size. Every women wants to be beautiful.

What do you say to aspiring artists who are just coming up?

Don't quit. And also I say this all the time. You don't plant an apple seed and pick apples the next day. You’ve got to tend your garden. Then once you do have apples, you got to keep the fucking squirrels and monkeys from stealing all of your fruit. So, I mean this battle never ends and shit's going to go wrong and you're going to fuck up and make mistakes. There's so much to be learned from those experiences. Look. Here's the thing. I think that we live in a different world right now in 2018 than we have ever lived in before. I think that for so long, the role of women was to be thin, have a beautiful house, have a big diamond and have perfect children. And women were very competitive with each other about these things and finding a man. You know? Now in America, to me it's offensive to not use the opportunities that we have to make our own money.

Where does the epic optimism you have come from? It’s infectious.

Because my father nurtured me. I think I was so odd and such a peculiar human being to be growing up in Montgomery, Alabama. That when I was younger I was like, 'why am I not like these other people? What's wrong with me?' Then I realized the very thing about me that makes me different was the thing that makes me so mother fucking awesome. Now, it’s funny. I could be walking with a pack of girls who are a size two or a four. You know? With Chanel on and I'm the one everybody's going, 'bitch. You've got it going on'. You know why? Because I'm just radiating.

Ashley Longshore
Photographed by Joy Newell

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

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    Shan
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    Thu, Dec 27

    Ashley Oh I love you so much! You inspire me daily and make me laugh hysterically! I’m so proud of you! You radiate so much joy and you are a magnet for all that is good in the world!

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