Brooke Ashe was born in 1977 to Mexican–Irish parents in Key West, Florida. The artist, poet, political activist, and filmmaker was raised in Canyon Country California, where she formed the Chicano student organization MECHA whilst still at High School. In 1995 she moved to the Bay area to attend UC Berkeley graduating in 2001 with a double major in Art and Ethnic studies. During this period she collaborated with other students to produce the documentary “I Of Motion, Us Of Movement” a short film about Bay area women in hip hop on which her thesis was based.
Ashe honed her poet skills at local slam events culminating in the sold-out production of “Pastime Paradise, Nobody Gets Out Alive” with Rhodessa Jones at Durham Studio Theatre. She assisted in the organization of several student movements on campus including “Affirmative Action” and worked with Ex-Black Panthers Ronnie Stevenson and Chase Adams on educational film tutorials for the Oakland youth.
In 2002, Ashe was commissioned by the Mar Thoma Orthodox Church to paint a mural depicting a scene from the Book of Revelations. Using art as a means to explore race relations and spirituality, she is greatly influenced by the Ethiopian Angels, which form the main focus of her paintings, graffiti and customized apparel. Ashe’s angels are placed in a variety of urban or ethereal settings their eyes and facial expressions hypnotically conveying the mood of each individual environment.
Ashe currently resides in Los Angeles, exhibiting her works at numerous art shows and events across the US and throughout the world. Commissioned works from Ford motors, American Idol, ESPN, and Payless Shoes. Collectors of her art include Hollywood celebrities Karl Kani, Christina Aguilera, Gary Dourdan, Megan Good, and Z-Star.
What is your charity or cause? Why did you select this? The Sean O'Shea Foundation www.seanosheafoundation.org is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that is designed to empower youth with a Yoga curriculum focusing on providing memorable programs aimed at enriching young lives and providing invaluable instructors who will be a positive role model while developing long-term relationships with educators and community. Sean O'Shea gave young people such an outstanding example of excellence, patience, discipline and a joy for life and personal growth that all can benefit from. These benefits are timeless and are in the form of a healthy, balanced perspective and increased happiness and in this age of extreme complexity, severe economic challenges and with society's overemphasis on competition and peer-pressure, Sean's teachings are a welcome antidote that all young people should have for their overall health, growth and well being. Sean's teachings are a shining example of how simplicity, harmony and cooperation are still values that can and should be nurtured and developed in every young person; therefore, it is our hope to offer this program as a positive experience for young people and community from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
Sean is my present moment wonderful moment breath of guided consciousness and awareness to enjoying life to its fullest. Sean is a beautiful friend and his family made this foundation to honor his life and teachings. He is an amazing person. He always had a smile on his face always ready to help, eager to learn. He became a master of everything he was interested in. He never gossiped, he never complained, he moved forward with new discoveries and shared these discoveries with many. I live in his optimism and hope to share it with the world.
Where does community work fit in with your ethos as an artist?
Edition One Hundred is founded with the idea of providing artists the opportunity to transform new technology into a tool to both produce affordable art while simultaneously connecting to non-traditional art collectors. What are your thoughts on Edition One Hundred? Why did you decide to be involved? How do you see this as a platform to reach a broader audience for your work?
With a online gallery it enables the artist s to continue to focus on their world while the work sells it self the creation process doesn't have to halt because you need to set up a show or prepare to hang the show. With this it is about the art and giving easy access to the masses to learn about the artist become a collector of art and make and investment in the future.
What are your thoughts on Art in the Digital Age?
As an artist, you regularly produce work that is a manifestation of you distinctive vision. Yet at the same time you are influenced by the work of others. Do you collect art? If so, who do you collect? And if you had all the money in the world, who would you buy and why?
We have some great art in my family. My grandpa Walter Ashe was an artist and i grew up with gallery walls of a variety of his work this has always been a great inspiration for me. My mom really enjoyed his work and furnished our walls with great talent at home. It is my mom who is the art collector with all other halls in the kitchen plastered with Frida Kahlo, as wall as work from my brother, sister, and myself. I really love Dali, Frida, Klimt, Rauschenberg, Basquiat, and Alex Gray.
I would buy work by Michelangelo because he is a great master and the lines brush strokes sculptures all have his genius hands molding our vision. With his art sitting in the room with you or if you are outside in awe at his work it feels as if you are immediately made into a genius and closer to enlightenment. I would also love any work by Artemisia Gentileschi because she was one of the first female artists to paint historical and religious paintings, at a time when such heroic themes were considered beyond a woman's reach. In an era when women painters were not easily accepted by the artistic community, she was the first female painter to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence. To have her strength and abilty and courage to explore and be amazing.
Why should people buy art?