Library Elementary; Newsstand High
B.A., Ernie Kovacs University of Visual Arts
M.F.A., Rod Serling School of Metaphysics
Mikie, Leo (and all the other dead guys)
A.S. Ashley (b. 1954) is a third generation native from Pasadena and a former resident of the Los Angeles’ Downtown Arts District. Ashley’s artwork includes painting, assemblage, ready-mades, sculpture, performance, and installation.
Ashley’s paintings range from formal narratives to abstract mixed media amalgams. He meticulously fashions elements that register common tones and notes to engage our memories and experiences: it could be a color palette of ‘50s magazines, the severe contrasts of film noir sets, or our favorite TV shows with lighting hues and shadows that make no sense at all. The triggers sought after in many of Ashley’s work are like Pavlovian Bells sending the observer to a specific time and place. Like a scent, we recognize it instantly, only to be tasked with locating its deeper origin within our subconscious.
Integrating found objects (man-made commercial as well as natural earth bound varieties) with sculpture and painting, Ashley's assemblages are often constructed with a social context in mind, evoking commentary on human rites and rituals in our ever evolving world.
Ashley's installations are a marriage of form and narration, creating a morphological portal mirroring commonplace events and practices.
Rather than serving a captive and sympathetic audience, Ashley prefers the spontaneity and chance that goes with “guerrilla” performance art. His method of translating form to function gained him national notoriety in 1979, when he was expelled from the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts for the controversial nature of his paintings. Subsequently, his reactive performance art drew the attention of the news media, the support of the ACLU, and a Superior Court ruling in Ashley's favor.
Ashley’s curatorial contribution to Los Angeles in the 80’s, Bakersfield in the 90’s, and Downtown Pomona in the 2000’s has promoted and mentored emerging artists while growing their respective art colonies. Ashley’s most recent efforts included co-authoring Pomona’s Cultural Master Plan and Public Art Ordinances, and assisting in their passage.