Originally from Liverpool, U.K. Ashwan completed a Masters in Fine Arts at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where his tutors included the Pulitzer prize winner Jerry Saltz and alumni such as Jeff Koons, Georgia O’Keefe and Claes Oldenburg. Describing his work as a visual Tao of the Boom Bap sound, it is appearent where the artist’s influences lies.

Ashwan creates objects: physical, solid with a strong sense of presence. He often uses discarded cardboard boxes and transforms them in to large scale mixed media pieces, ultimately encased in resin. The resulting metamorphosis creates a simultaneous sense of post-industrial urban degeneration and a jewel like tribute to the rebel subcultures that added colour to these environments. The desire to be heard and to make a mark on a society that it seems is no longer listening, Ashwan’s art harks back to a period where the urban breakdown resulted in an explosion of colour amid growing social divides.

In the works of Ashwan, the urban environment itself is equally enjoyed with rusted surfaces, oxidised copper and a crumbling sense of physicality and passing time. To Ashwan, his art somehow encompasses and represents sound, be it a snapshot of music or an ambient noise. The texts often quote or paraphrase lyrics. He attempts to capture and highlight that trait of humanity that hungers to source beauty from degeneration and thirsts to create explosions of creativity from areas that have been so abandoned and abused as to appear cultural desserts.

The artist is referencing, remixing and celebrating a bygone era with sincerity and nostalgia…