She’s Got That Joie de Vivre – Ashley Longshore Interview

It’s been a little while since we’ve done an artist interview, and I’m happy to resume posting these with New Orleans-based designer and artist Ashley Longshore’s! Hers is as detailed and full of energy as they come, and when you take a look at her work, it makes perfect and utter sense. Her paintings are highly detailed studies of everything colorful, fun and out-there in life. Her furniture design work, which is what we are lucky enough to have in our New Orleans location, is equally irreverent, with familiar shapes and traditional quality detailing, but in the craziest colors and rendered through the lens of her colorful life. In our parlor room sits her “Time Out” chair, in a sparkling turquoise vinyl with red accents. It demands attention and yet seems to go with just about anything we place or hang next to it without argument. If you’re interested in this piece, simply give us a call or shoot us an email.

Photo by Ann Madden Photography

What’s inspiring your work these days?

I recently spent a month in Maui where I filmed an underwater short film for an event I did at The CAC in New Orleans. I used stills from the film and painted a series of Underwater pieces. I am really inspired by reflections in the water. I cant stop painting this water series! I am posting new images everyday on my website www.ashleylongshore.com. I post videos, paintings, new chair designs every other day. Its my life journal.

I am really in this whole adventure phase in my career. My dream has always been to travel to different places for a month or so at a time and create new collections. My next big adventure will be this September. I am going to be living in Holland for a month and creating a new collection. At the end of the month I am having an opening in the Hague. It’s really a dream! Who knows what will inspire  me there!

Have you seen your work in new contexts, used in ways you hadn’t imagined for it?

I have a pretty out of control imagination. I feel that my paintings, chairs and performance art are very directed in the context that they are presented.  Now, how the viewer absorbs my madness?? God only knows?  The performance art always has interesting twists and turns. Here is a link to one of my videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucREJtY24ZU

Does your material usually come before form or form before material?

I see images in my mind and then create them EXACTLY as I envisioned them.

How about function before form or form before function?

The creative process is much more of a feeling than a process for me. I don’t think of my art in terms of form or function. It is what it is. I have an idea and I go for it.

What is your greatest challenge as a designer?

Honestly the challenges are about keeping myself amused. That always shines through in my work. I really like to create conversation pieces and I only like to paint what really humors me. Like this one below. I call it “Elton Johns Junk Drawer” I was laughing hysterically while I was painting this! Now its in a show in Miami. I cant wait to see who buys it.

If you could collaborate with any artist living or dead, who would it be?

Jesus! This is a hard question. I would want to paint with Picasso for the day. Make a movie with Wes Anderson and Design furniture with Andy Warhol. Then I would want to take a nap with Francesco Clemente and have dinner with Alice Neel. Then I would want to go to an after party with Terry Richardson.

What is the quality you are most attracted to in art or design?

I love originality. There is so much repetitive crap out there. It’s amazing when you see something really unique that inspires new thoughts. That is so exciting when it happens! It’s really rare. Fortunately, living in a city like New Orleans I am constantly inspired by music, art, food, creative people. It’s an amazing place to live. As I mentioned I like things that inspire conversation.

What is your most prized possession?

Hmmmmm. I really try not to let “stuff” define me. Its really hard living in America to do that. Now that my career is really taking off, it is VERY clear what is most important. It ain’t cars, jewelry and fancy hotel suites.  The most important thing  that I have is the love of my life, Michael Smith. He makes every day wonderful.

But I also have a massive problem with buying HUGE cocktail rings! I am obsessed with my favorite ring designer PITANGO! He is in Soho. I am weak every time I get around his pieces. I could go broke buying them.

And finally, a picture of where Ashley feels most in her element.

I feel most in my element in my studio painting and meeting clients. This is a picture of me and Blake Lively. She is a big collector of my work. When she was filming in New Orleans she stopped by my studio regularly. She is quite the art collector. I love that I can meet the people that love my work! Clients come in and hang out with me. We have a glass of wine and listen to music while I am at the easel. I have a hard time getting away from that.

Thank you Ashley for a great interview!

Until next time,

Aurora

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