Dan's Cover Artist Ashley Longshore Paints Feminist Pop
This week’s chic cover art comes to us from New Orleans-based artist Ashley Longshore, who has been likened to a “young, feminist Andy Warhol” for her artistic muses of pop culture figures and brands, and for her close ties to billionaires and celebrities. Here, she discusses creating the cover painting, her love of glamorous New Yorkers and preparing to open her first NYC creative space, a studio and two-level showroom in SoHo.
A Conversation with Ashley Longshore
What inspired you to create “Another Day in Paradise” (2023, acrylic, 72″ x 72″), and what themes did you set out to explore with it?
I just love all of these fancy ladies up here in New York City and the Hamptons, and that (painting) was just all about glamor, beauty, fashion and all of those things that you think of when you think of glamorous New York women. It’s funny, anywhere you go in the world — whether it’s Italy or I was just in St. Barts — you can always pick out the New Yorkers because they are just fashion, fashion, fashion. Even the Birkin bag that I chose (for the piece) was extremely rare from an auction; I think it’s like a quarter-million-dollar Birkin bag.
What did the creation process of this painting entail, and how long did it take to complete?
It’s so funny when people ask that because I just wanna say, “How long did it take your mama and daddy to make you?” …
This piece was part of a collection for The Colony hotel, so I was doing a whole series of work that was just about glamor, being in the sun and beauty. When I get my brain rolling around that, things happen pretty quickly. I sketched that out and painted it; it probably took me two days. And then there are embellishments of glitter, and then it’s coated in a very glossy resin. It actually sold before it even got to the show, so by the time it got to my studio team and they had resined it and everything, I didn’t even get to see it.
What are some of the key terms that define your art style?
Color, size, glamor. I mean, I have lots of different types of collections … but yeah, color, size, sparkle, in-your-face, big, bold, gorgeous.
What art accomplishment or accolade are you most proud of?
I hit all of my major art goals before I turned 40 years old. I’d already been in Forbes; I’ve been in Vogue. I was the first female artist to have a solo show at Bergdorf Goodman. I’ve had every single one of the windows down Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman is full of my art. I had my own café at Bergdorf Goodman on level two. I’ve worked with Gucci, collaborated with Judith Lieber and Rolex. Celebrities (and billionaires) collect my work. I’ve been recognized as a businesswoman, as well as an artist.
But what has been the greatest accolade? You know, my favorite thing in the whole world is when I meet young artists, and they feel inspired by what I’ve done in my own career. And I’ve teamed up with YoungArts to create the Ashley Longshore Excellence in the Arts Award. I’ve been giving $25,000 unrestricted awards to students in musical theater this year. Actually, last week (I gave an award for) photography in honor of one of my friends had passed away. For me, where I am in my career right now, being able to inspire and to give back to the creative community … makes me cry tears of joy. There ain’t nothing better than that.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your art career as a whole?
Having a strong inner monologue, not giving up and pushing forward, especially in a world now where people feel free to just say whatever they want on the internet and have their opinion about everything, tearing people apart. Although that does hurt, it’s nice to not let it deter me from what my goals are. So I think it’s having the stamina to have people challenge the idea of what humans can accomplish, and proving them wrong, not giving up and pushing forward.
Do you have any upcoming arts projects in the works?
I have several huge projects, but the biggest one of all is having my own showroom in New York City (expected to open on 43 Crosby Street by the third week of June). … It’s where I’ve always dreamed of having a showroom. For 30 years and three months, this has been my dream.
I’ve been up here banging around New York City for about 20 years, and I’ve had some great shows. And I had a great show out in the Hamptons with Lizzie Tisch about five years ago. … I’ve been around here for a minute, so I feel like it’s a good time for me to open up my own place.
Would you like to share any closing thoughts?
Well, my closing thought is always that a world without artists would be a very boring world. The reason why I love New York and I love the Hamptons, is that there’s always a beautiful artful element that makes all of these spaces gorgeous, of course, combined with nature. But, you know, you go into those gorgeous houses in the Hamptons and they have the most beautiful art you’ve ever seen. A world without art is not a world worth living in, I think.
To see more of Ashley Longshore’s work, visit ashleylongshore.com and follow her @ashleylongshoreart on Instagram.