When Joseph Knight of Knight&Hammer first introduced me to Ashley Longshore Art, I fell in love with her the instant I clicked "follow" on her Instagram account, where she says, "Fuck is my favorite word. I laugh all day long. Who the fuck took my....Oh wait here it is."
Ashley, who is a New Orleans-based artist, is a force to be reckoned with. She's undoubtedly the modern day Andy Warhol, a raw and rebellious Southern belle who says fuck as much as I do and who creates cheeky portraits and pop art that celebrate American consumption in a seven deadly sins fashion. As she says, "FUCK YOU. I wear heels bigger than your dick."
Don't be fooled by her Southern charm; she is a serious businesswoman who gets off on bling, glitter, luxury, resin, and, of course, sex. In fact, Forbes' recently acknowledged her for being one of the most powerful businesswomen in the South.
I had the honor of meeting her in person a few weeks ago when she was hosting an event at Kirna Zabete in SOHO. I was immediately smiitten with this superwoman, blinded by the sparkle of her Chanel bag and other fab accessories. And the feeling was mutual. It was like censory overload. If I were a dude, I definitely would have taken her home. Turns out we are both Leos (no surprise there).
The truth is that girls compete with each other; women empower each other. What I love most about Ashley is that she and I both use our creativity as a vehicle to empower other women and we keep up with ourselves, not others. As she said, "Fuck the fucking fuckers before the fucking fuckers fuck you." Some may be turned off by her liberal use of "cuss words," but naysayers are always going to have an opinion. It's truly only important to trust your own. I strongly urge you to live life your way.
Surround yourself with women who mirror who you want to be and how you want to feel, as energies are contagious. When you shine bright like a glistening Knight&Hammer diamond, you're bound to stand out from the crowd. As Mae West said so succinctly, "It is better to be looked over than overlooked."
As I type this, I am still absorbing the imagery I saw when I went to her studio today at 4848 Magazine Street in New Orleans. I came for the weekend and wanted to be sure to stop by. The second I stepped foot into this wonderland, I felt transported into her Swarovski-encrusted brain. I feel that Ashley fully embraces the fact that in order to become a legend and to sustain your status as one, it's necessary to have a sense of humor and a little lack of respect for the norm.
As Warhol said, "You have to do stuff average people don't understand because those are the only good things." Normalcy is a nicely paved road that is comfortable to walk on, but no flowers grow on perfectly maintained roads. A true artist is not someone who is constantly inspired by others but rather one who inspires others, and Ashley has truly earned her title as The Queen of Pop Art.
There are some days when I think I am going to die by overdosing on happiness and satisfaction. I don't do drugs, as many presume; I am drugs. Today was one of those days, thanks to my jaunt inside Ashley's crazy head. She is coming to my apartment in early April so she can transport her badass self into my bedazzled universe and for a master brainstorming session to create something regal for my pink and gold palace. I am pretty sure that we will simultaneously experience an intense artgasm. And I know she won't leave me with blue balls.