Ashley Bickerton (1959–2022) was a contemporary artist who was based in Bali. A mixed-media artist, Bickerton often combined photographic and painterly elements with industrial and found object assemblages. The works that he created during his residency at STPI were mixed-media pieces of “spooky images” representing green-skinned creatures emerging from a sea littered with cans and bottles.
A seminal figure in New York’s East Village scene, Bickerton was one of the original members of a group of artists that were known as “Neo-Geo”. Alongside Jeff Koons, Peter Halley, and Meyer Vaisman, Neo-Geometric Conceptualism, or otherwise known as “Neo-Geo”, rejected the Neo-Expressionist trends in painting. They critiqued the mechanisation and commercialisation of the modern world, using geometry as a metaphor for society.
When Bickerton moved to the Indonesian island of Bali, his work became increasingly figurative, populated by a cast of grotesque and exotic characters, from voluptuous indigenous women to grimacing serpents with human characteristics. Conscious of the distortion in his objects, the works are a critique of capitalism and an exploration of issues in contemporary art related to the commodification of the art object itself. Whether painting directly on the human body, making sculpture, or creating large-scale hyper-realistic paintings, Bickerton was an influential figure with a younger generation of artists.
During his residency, he created mixed-media pieces of “spooky images”, representing green-skinned creatures emerging from a sea of litter, cans, and bottles. These works were exhibited in STPI, titled Ashley Bickerton: …Just This! (2006).
Bickerton had exhibited his work internationally and is included in public art and museum collections. His works are held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art; the Tate; the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Berardo Collection Museum in Lisbon, Portugal; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He has had solo exhibitions at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Sonnabend Gallery and White Cube in London.