As most Caribbean islands now have a mixture of African, Asian, Middle Eastern and European heritage the resulting art is a hybrid of all of these diverse influences. Caribbean artists now combine and adapt all of these influences to create their own unique and distinct styles, but they also all share a unity in their art through their portrayal of the physical, social and cultural elements of the Caribbean environment. The following four artists are the perfect example of this fusion.
The Life & Work of Ashley Bickerton
Artist, sculptor and painter Ashley Bickerton was born in Barbados, studied at the California Institute of the Arts, became a member of Neo-Geo group the ‘Fantastic Four’, before settling in Bali in 1993. His work, and the work of his group, caused a sensation with its anti-consumerist and anti-capitalist motifs, and has since been exhibited as part of public art collections in Europe and the US. We take a look at the artist, his work and his life.
Ashley Bickerton, son of Derek Bickerton, moved several times around the world and dwelled in many different countries, in the light of his father’s work and career in languages and linguistics. He was educated in the US, has exhibited his work on a global scale, and has subsequently established a flourishing career as a world-renowned artist. He worked closely with artists Peter Halley and Jeff Koons in the 1980s, who together pioneered the artistic movement called ‘Neo-Geo’ a truncation of ‘Neo-Geometric conceptualization’, which has taken influences from both the pop-art and minimalist artistic movements, in addition to French philosopher Jean Baudrillard.
Becoming a dominant force as part of the East Village Art scene in the 80s in the light of his quirky, abstract portraits, Bickerton’s work in more ways than one consciously stands in opposition to the mechanization of the consumerist world in which we live, as he frequently alludes and makes reference to societal concerns.
This is a prevalent goal in many of his works, and is evidenced in his comprising of his own invented logos such as ‘culture lux’ and ‘suzie’, which can be found on many of his portraits.