The Art of "Circus Of The Scars" a Review

Artist review by Doug Higley


MAN . . . writing a review is sometimes a tough assignment . . . but then, I assign myself the things I want to write about . . . the key is 'want'.

I have been wanting to write a piece about underground artist Ashleigh Talbot, those of you lucky ones who read Jan Gregor's "Circus of the Scars" are familiar with her style of hard edge pen work . . .

I have always been a 'seat of the pants' artist and writer, tripping over the fine points and allowing stuff to come out the way it comes out. So . . . when it come to writing abut another artists work, I really want to, but the how escapes me and I run the risk of 'talking through the backend,' so to speak.

ASHLEIGH TALBOT. Well, she and I both have put out our own handmade books . . . she has lots of tattoos. I have one. She has some similar interests and has worked the sideshows, she as a performer . . . me as an owner. Her list of accomplishments are more memorable than mine, though we both have 'done it all' over the years in the pursuit of art.

She, I suppose, can be considered a 'hippie' or to be more accurate of the 'beat' generation . . . while I did live in the Haight Ashbury during the 60's I wore a suit and was a 'talker' in front of the topless clubs (and a performer/escape artist) whereas she was the real deal . . . from the heart . . . Seattle underground . . . gut level poetess called, "Triangle Slash." I never had a name like that although some San Francisco mob friends occasionally called me 'Dougy Doughnuts' - Quaint.

Ashleigh is an underground legend for all the true reasons that come from living the life a lot of us see in the eye we use to view that other life style . . . the one we really can't fathom . . . the one we put a half smiling 'them' to. Whether it's Gypsies or Beatniks or any culture we have trouble connecting with on any other level than 'they' or 'them'.

I mean this girl has actually illustrated for W.S. Burroughs for cryin' out loud! She has been there, done that, in a list that would take up this entire issue of the 'report.' So let's just say Ashleigh Talbot/Triangle Slash is a well known underground comic book artist, illustrator and tattoo artist and her fourth book, "Beat Speak" was recently published by Water Row Press.

And, of course, she did the inks for "Circus of the Scars" . . . posters for the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow and Tim "Torture King" Cridland's act . . . blah, blah, blah. Boy am I jealous!

You see I want to use the word 'amateur' but that's not really correct . . . this girl is No amateur by any stretch. So what is the
word? Unencumbered by training? That's closer. Hey, maybe she was trained. I really don't know, but thankfully it doesn't show if she was.  Raw, edge, shocking, stark, emotional, blood running fast, gut wrenching impact, unslick, not polished, child like, stabbing, outrageous, silly, beautiful, again beautiful.

Words, all valid, I just don't know to put them all together so I'll just leave them hanging there naked with goose bumps. As an underground artist of sorts as well as a performance artist on occasion I love the form.

Ashleigh Talbot resides at the top of the game for all the right reasons . . . she wasn't created by some school or motivated by some ad agency to take up the style . . . it is what flows . . . what comes out, comes out and damn the viewer if you don't 'get it'. Technique can be aquired, what artist Ashleigh Talbot puts out, can only be found and wondered at.

No less than the raw talent that adorns the caves in
France and no more than what we need to feel the pen on the paper. Her work is a major contribution to the success of "Circus of the Scars" . . . get your copy and watch this girl cook.

Doug Higley

Click on the Image Above to see more of Ashleigh Talbot's Artwork


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