We like Ashley Anderson’s wide range of work: from intricate, hand-drawn symmetrical images, ones that are really loud and chaotic, to simple but strong pixelated pieces. His work was a perfect match for the chaotic sounds of Crystal Castles. And we wouldn't actually know it from this interview, but Ashley also happens to have a pretty spectacular beard.
SCOUT: Tell us how people might know you?
Ashley: Crazy symmetrical shirt designs for Thoughtmarker, Cacao, and local band The Clap, or colorful wooden pixelated guns, or large, animated, self-cannibalizing monstrosities spotted at the Plaza Theater this past July. And my luscious but fierce beard which swishes hither and thither while I’m on the clock at Fellini’s on Ponce.
SCOUT: Oh my, that last one is really impressive. Describe your art to someone who has never seen it before.
Ashley: My work is mainly divided into two styles. The first kind is chaotic, symmetrical drawings built from smaller, stream of consciousness drawings in my sketchpads. These pieces relate to the cycle of matter, for instance how today’s hamburger ends up as tomorrow’s fingernail or feathers or grass and vice-versa, that kind of thing. The other half of my work uses pixel-based images from
old videogames, computer icons, and cellphone menus. These images often reference art history and mainly address the ways in which our understanding of the world is visually mitigated or conventionalized. Pretty colors, too!
SCOUT: That is quite the range, my friend. Can you choose your favorite medium to use?
Ashley: I love all traditional 2-D media, but I’d have to say quill & ink and oil pastels are my two favorites... and my course, my brush-like beard.
SCOUT: How very Dali of you. And your proudest project to date?
Ashley: My friend Aaron Keuter recently animated some of my symmetrical drawings to Crystal Castles' tune "Xxzxcuzx Me”. It debuted at Wonderroot's Local Filmmaker’s Night at the Plaza back in July and I think I'm safe in saying the crowd went wild! Aaron did such a good job making those critters move, many props unto him, faux-realsies! Also, I’m proud of my beard.
SCOUT: The beard, got it. Any art in particular that inspires you?
Ashley: Wayne Thiebaud, Tim Hawkinson, Roy Lichtenstein, Allison Schulnik,
Jeremy Blake, and Makoto Aida. Surprisingly enough, no beards in this lineup…
SCOUT: Classics. Tell us your first piece of fridge art?
Ashley: When I was 18 months old, I drew a stick figure with fingers and toes on my bedroom door. The first thing I remember drawing is the Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull from a neon sign around age 6 or 7 while my dad was getting something from the gas station. I didn't have a beard then.
SCOUT: No, because that would be weird. So where in Atlanta do you for inspiration?
Ashley: Presently, I love love love going to see the Dali show at the High Museum (thank you so much, High Museum!) My beard loves the Madonna of Port Lligat. Otherwise, I tend to be inspired by learning more about artists I admire, their ideas and processes, and the artists who in turn inspired them.
SCOUT: We’re loving the High right now too. Where’s your favorite Atlanta institution to get some grub?
Ashley: I love me the heck out of some Majestic Diner. They even know my favorite drink: half-sweet half-unsweet tea!
SCOUT: Yesss… another Scoutmobbing Atlanta hot spot. Cheers all around! And your favorite “curious find” in Atlanta?
Ashley: Luqma, an Indo-Pak restaurant in Decatur that is SO GOOD!!! Also, Brett W. Thompson is the nicest dude in Atlanta; that cannot be said enough. Nice beard, too.
SCOUT: Yes, Brett is a very nice bearded character. Tell us other local Atlantans that inspires you or your work?
Ashley: Chris Chambers, Jason Kofke, Shana Robbins, The Plastic Aztecs, Jiha Moon. Again, no facial hair in this artist lineup, but Chambers’ mustache is mighty fine to behold.
SCOUT: What are you currently working on?
Ashley: Postcards for Mint Gallery’s Postcard Pinup Show, pieces for shows at both Young Blood Gallery and Kibbee Gallery, and a body of work for my first solo show, venue as yet unknown. And growing my beard.
SCOUT: Wait... you have a beard?! Finally, throw out a shameless plug of where people can get the goods:
Ashley: I sell guns and art on my site Etsy and I have some shirts at 2K T-Shirts. And I have pretty sweet Flickr account, too.