Arts

Hanging With Ashley Longshore — a Pop Art Queen Lets Us Inside Her New Orleans Studio and Tells All

The New Feminist Andy Warhol?

BY Gia McCrae and Nicole Betts // 09.01.19

Veuve, glitter, and a whole lot of glamour – Ashley Longshore is a dynamic woman, and a true embodiment of the “American Hustle.” The vibrant artist originally from Montgomery, Alabama, has been compared to a young, feminist Andy Warhol for her genius blend of pop culture figures and commentary on American consumerism.

The New Orleans-based mixed-media artist has several opportunities keeping her busy. This includes a global collaboration with Maybelline featuring six matte shades of lipsticks adorned with Longshore’s colorfully designed packaging now available at drugstores all across Texas.

During International Women’s History Month, Longshore and iconic designer Diane von Furstenberg joined forces to celebrate extraordinary women in history and partner on an art project — a pop-up exhibition featuring a diverse cast of 37 extraordinary women ranging from Michelle Obama to Amelia Earhart. The show has been extended through the end of the year at DVF’s flagship store in New York City. Since the extension, Longshore announced that she will be adding more women to the collection.

Longshore also will be the official artist for New York Fashion Week this month. Additionally, as the follow-up to her previously published autobiography, You Don’t Look Fat, You Look Crazy: An Unapologetic Guide to Being Ambitchous, Rizzoli is publishing a coffee table book of her work in October titled I Do Not Cook, I Do Not Clean, I Do Not Fly Commercial.

Additionally, the Pop Art Queen has started a foundation where she will give scholarships to creative students, an endeavor which Longshore describes as “exciting and fun.”

She says she may be compared to Andy Warhol and wants to leave an ambitious and bold legacy. However, what people don’t realize is she genuinely aims to Warhol-like status.

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“I want to have a career like Andy Warhol and leave a legacy like Peggy Guggenheim,” Longshore tells PaperCity.

In her early twenties, Longshore moved to New Orleans where she eventually opened her own art gallery. From collectors such as Blake Lively, the Hilfiger family, and a few royals, this Pop Art Queen’s success is only growing.

“The true magic is earning your own money and being able to burn it however you please,” Longshore says. “It’s the American Dream baby!”

To learn more, we traveled to New Orleans where Longshore granted us a personal tour and shared what’s on her mind.

Ashley Longshore is not a shy personality. (Photo by Dave Rossman)

PaperCity is published in Houston and Dallas – what are your thoughts on these cities? Favorite spots, buyers, and major differences.

Ashley Longshore: God Bless Texas. I feel like Houston and Dallas are different, and I think I would compare them to, if you had sex with a brunette or a blonde they’re both great. There’s nothing wrong with either one of them.

What I love about Texas in general, is that it really encompasses the American dream which I feel like is fashion, beauty, glamour, wealth, houses – there’s such an amount of decadence to Texas.

In a couple of words can you describe the art piece sitting on your easel right now.

AL: It’s a 60″ by 60″ deconstructed [Jean-Michel] Basquiat, and I’m reworking it into this current series, and there’s lots of Prussian blue and black. The whole idea of my new series is I’m looking at paintings that have inspired me my entire life and I’m reworking them to see them as brand new.

Personal favorite work?

AL: They’re my babies. I love all of them you know; they’re all my thoughts. They all represent different moments in my life and I’m so grateful for that. However, you know, sometimes the newest piece is the favorite.

What are your thoughts about feminism?

AL: As a big feminist I believe women should have the same rights as anybody else. I believe in the American dream. If you are willing to work hard, it does not matter what color you are, your genitalia, or what your daddy did or did not do, the dream is there for the taking.

I also believe in opportunity. I believe in hustle, and God help anyone who gets in my way. Lemme put it to you this way – I do not focus on the individual politicians. I focus on me and the liberties that I do have in this country. And I surround myself with incredible female mentors.

I don’t have to ask nobody for anything. That is power, that is our freedom in America, and also as women. If you have your own money – you can love who the hell you want to. You can live where the hell you want to, you can buy what you want without permission. I don’t know about y’all, but to me that’s power.

You’re self-made with your own money. What would you say to all the young girls out there still trying to make it?

AL: Look: the thing about it is your twenties are very hard. What you should enjoy in your twenties are firm breasts. You really need to believe in yourself. You’re gonna have to give yourself a lot of pep talks and never give up on what your dream is.

I read something not too long ago that said, “Our greatest weakness would be giving up.” It isn’t anything else – it isn’t being a woman, it isn’t your skin color, it’s giving up. In your twenties, you kinda figure out where you want to be, and then in your thirties you get great at that and you figure out how to make money, how to save money and become diversified. In your forties, hopefully you’re making a lot of money, and you have lots of opportunities, and you’re giving back too.

When asked what she was doing for her then-upcoming birthday, Longshore said she wanted to have a dinner party with friends, drink some wine, and jump in her pool. She admitted she may even add a puppy to her family. Of course, as a legendary, self-made boss, Ashley Longshore celebrates everyday like it’s her birthday.

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