Stassi Schroeder’s living room features one prominent (and expensive) piece of art above her couch — called “Audrey With Bejeweled, Crown Gold Leaf” — painted by famed New Orleans-based artist Ashley Longshore. (Stassi is also from Nola and proudly shows off the painting — and the rest of her apartment — in the video tour above.)
Personal Space spoke to Ashley (barefoot with no bra on), also known as Instagram’s most famous artist, about navigating the art world as a woman, becoming the resident artist at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, and her many Bravoleb clients.
Personal Space: Why do you think Instagram really works for you in terms of getting your message (and your art) across to the masses?
Ashley Longshore: “Part of the draw on Instagram for celebrities and artists is that you’re getting a window into my personality and what makes me tick. This is the journey that I enjoy on social media. It’s a journal that I’m letting the world read.”
PS: You are paving the way for a lot of women in the art world, do you find yourself mentoring many young women?
AL: “Look I think 90 percent — and I’m not an encyclopedia — but most of all the art in American museums is by male artists, the only museum dedicated solely to women is The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum [in Santa Fe, N.M.]. I think there are new opportunities coming, I m not gonna sit here and harp on what I don’t have, I am the type of feminist that is for everybody. I have opportunity right now to wake up every day and to use all the tools I have and put myself out there in whatever way I see fit.
I’m not gonna depend on a gallery to tell me whether I’m marketable or not. I’m a woman in America, I’m gonna start my own f--king business. I’m gonna be an entrepreneur, I’m gonna have a whole team, and I’m happy to help others do that.”
PS: Do you feel like you’ve made it?
AL: “You know, back when it was as small as me selling a $1,500 painting I celebrated…me going ‘yeah I can pay my rent,’ you have to celebrate every little step. And I’ve done that along the way. What it’s about is me going ‘I just sold enough art to pay my rent and dammit I have some left over money! Let’s go get some of the worst sushi in New Orleans and get sake drunk and pass out. It’s the little things. When people tell me that I have inspired them, I feel like I have made it. Success is relative. Success can mean 10 dollars for one person to 10 million for another. If I say right now that I’ve made it, haven’t I capped off any future opportunities? I can say I am excited for the achievements I’ve had, that I love myself enough to do what I wanted to do.”
PS: You’re so confident, does anything ever get to you?
AL: “Yes of course I get the sads, I think ‘How am I gonna get all this shit done? How am I gonna see everything I wanna see?’ I’m sensitive to being misunderstood. The thing that really feels me is the grandeur and greatness of infinite possibilities. I built this I just wanna make sure it continues.”
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