The Lehmann Maupin Gallery on the Lower East Side is currently featuring an exhibition of new works by Ashley Bickerton for his fourth solo show at the gallery. His latest body of work includes several eccentric and colorful portraits of women surrounded by many random, earthly objects. These objects include seashells, necklaces made from cigarettes, stale food, flowers, insects, butterflies, and globs of paint and clay.
The images are edited via Photoshop, and then printed on canvas, which is mounted on either wood or fiberglass. The work is then reconstructed with layers of oil and acrylic paint to create mixed art forms. Bickerton refers to the women in his portraits as “m-DNA” or “Mitochondrial Eve” which relates to a theory in the field of genetics where every human being alive today is a descendent of one single woman who lived in East Africa more than 100,000 years ago.
Alongside these portraits, Bickerton presents a series of new, clay sculptures cast in metal and fiberglass and are inspired by many aspects of today’s world including art history, fashion, anthropology, and pornography. Bickerton aims to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western culture with his art. His style today is very much influenced by what he has seen and learned while living in Bali, incorporating the colorful scenery and enriched perspective into his work.
Bickerton was born and raised in Barbados and studied at the California Institute of the Arts before and went on to complete an Independent studies program at the Whitney Museum in New York. He became known for his Neo-Geographical approach during the 1980s in New York’s East Village neighborhood, before moving to Bali where he has lived for the past 20 years. Bickerton’s work is featured in numerous public and private collections across the country and around the world.
At the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, 201 Chrystie St., through Oct. 26. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.