Pasadena, California, United States

Ashley Slade

Pasadena, California, United States


Mixed media artist interested in Blackfuturism and retrofuturism.

I’m an illustrator, collage artist, painter and all-around maker based in Pasadena, CA. My artwork is influenced by science fiction, Blackfuturism, and retrofuturism from the 1920s through the 1960s. 

Depictions of the future in art and media from the 1920s through the 1960s tend to have a hopeful tone. Creators were excited about the promise of a more egalitarian society on the horizon—a society where everyone’s needs would be met and technology would serve the highest good.

These past visions of the future call on us to imagine the best for humanity and work towards whatever that may be.

Unfortunately, these depictions are from an era of deep inequality. The promise of a “more just world” was only reserved for white men. This problem of racism and intolerance is not just an issue of the past, but persists even in current portrayals of the future.

Inspired by the futurism of bygone eras, I use a combination of illustration, painting, and collage to reimagine the narrative of what we now call “retrofuturist art” while centering people of color—particularly Black women. My hope is that by creating an inclusive and intersectional version of retrofuturism, my art will move viewers to work towards the egalitarian and equitable future that past futurists claimed to dream of.


Pasadena, California, United States