Ashton S. Phillips is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, CA, working directly with the earth, water, pollution, taboo, and (dis)repair as primary materials. He is interested in the wisdom hidden within the material environment, including our physical bodies, and in the promise of queer ecological praxis, including interspecies collaboration, embodied “play,” and speculative (un)making, as pathways for making meaning, building resiliency, and generating new forms of knowing/feeling/being in the late Capitalocene.
Ashton’s work has been exhibited in museums, galleries, and artist-run spaces around the United States, including the Torrance Art Museum, Cerritos College, SoLA Contemporary, Angles Gate Cultural Center, Nikki at Mehle Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana, North Willows artist-run space in Montclair, NJ, Keep Contemporary, the Museum of Encaustic Art, The New Mexico Cancer Center, Ghostwolf Gallery, Southwest College of Visual Art, Santa Maria de Vid Abbey, Art123 Gallery and the University of New Mexico, Gallup, in New Mexico.
Public art commissions and participatory performances include Feast and Famine, a 2022 collaborative performance and sound installation at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in Culver City, CA; Reflections, a 2020-21 participatory sound art installation in Glendale Central Park; breaking ground, a public performance and temporary land art installation among the landslide ruins of Sunken City on the coast of San Pedro, CA; and Helios Rising, a 170 x 7′ mural responding to the path of the sun in Albuquerque, NM.
Ashton studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, anthropology and queer theory at the University of Maryland, where he served as the first openly trans president of the university’s LGBT student caucus, and interdisciplinary sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art’s MFA in Studio Art program, where he also taught undergraduate students in the interdisciplinary sculpture, fibers, and ceramics programs. He is a current resident artist at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, CA.