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Artist Ashley Bickerton, Harsh Critic of Consumerism, Died At 63

Ashley Bickerton, the artist who lampooned consumerism and was a hot topic in the New York art scene in the 1980s, died at the age of 63.

Ashley Bickerton died on Wednesday at his home in Bali, Indonesia, where he had lived since the 90s. A representative of Gagosian, who had only begun representing him earlier this year, confirmed the death. Bickerton was diagnosed with ALS last year, a condition that severely impacts the nervous system.

The artist Ashley Bickerton saw his heyday in the 1980s when he was a darling of art critics and patrons alike in New York. Throughout the decade, he created a vast body of work that differed in everything except a core theme – mocking consumerism. His most distinctive works were the “self-portraits” which were not conventional portraits but rather a mix of a variety of items. These included logos for car companies, cigarettes, TV channels, and so on. Another of his iconic feature was SUSIE (full name: Susie Culturelux), a brand he created for himself which (according to him) would also serve as an index and artistic signature. Throughout the 1980s, he was heavily featured in various galleries and fairs. This included the 1986 Sonnabend Gallery show which is credited for the rise of the Neo-Geo movements (the resurgence of geometric figures in modern art).

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As the decade ended, Ashley Bickerton also saw a shift in his artistic style. This impacted his influence in the art scene, and in the 90s he decided to move to Indonesia permanently. Since then, Brickerton had mostly lived in seclusion at his Bali home. However, in recent years, efforts of galleries like Gagosian and Lehmann Maupin, as well as artists like Damien Hirst, led to a revived interest in his works.