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June 2012

Ashley Bickerton’s art is a vivid and grotesque reprimand to consumerism and the contemporary art world in which he practices. Working through photography, painting and mixed media assemblages, his highly embellished works have made their way into some of the most important collections in the world.

Stepping away from New York and his association with Jeff Koons, Peter Halley and the Neo Geo movement, Bickerton has lived and practiced in Bali since the early 1990s. Far from reflecting an idyllic ‘island exotica’, his works fixate on the compromising, dark and ambiguous underbelly of Balinese and Thai tourist cultures. Using body paint, manipulated photographs and impossible coloration, his works slither around in the hyper-real glow of neon lights.

There’s no romantic vision of a primitive culture to be seen - the archetypes here are complicated concoctions of western and eastern cultures, featuring migrant figures who explore the conflict and intersection between the primitive and rampant first world commercialism of modern island life.