Russel Young is a British-American artist who produces large silkscreen paintings. His work mainly focuses on pop culture and he uses imagery drawn from this to create incredible, contemporary artwork.
Young, who is now 64, was born in York in 1959 and grew up to study photography, film and graphic design at the University of Chester. His passion for art and photography grew and in the late 70s, he made the move to the country’s capital.
He became well known and recognised in London for being a club-show photographer, working with the likes of the Smiths, Diana Ross and Björk. Although unestablished at the time, many of the people he worked with would go on to become some of the most famous faces in pop culture.
Young worked tirelessly until the end of the 90s, shooting for some household names and working with a whole host of different artists, from album shots to press and even directing music videos.
In the year of 1998, he made the journey to New York City, leaving film and photography on the sidelines, Young threw himself into art and devoted much of his time to painting and creating new forms of art which vastly differed to his previous career in photography and film.
Living and working in Williamsburg, Brooklyn exposed him to a world of vibrant street artwork which he drew much inspiration from. New York was rich with culture and interest and his artwork fit in with the hustle and bustle of the city.
His work, as it is known today, started as an ‘anti-celebrity’ project which Young began as a response to his former career. He took mugshots of celebrities such as Elvis, Malcolm X and Sid Vicious and blew them up into huge, bold, vibrant portraits.
Although meant as a joke, he quickly realized that these paintings were some of his best works and he began to heavily focus on art as a medium over photography and filmography.
Over the course of his career, his artwork has been shown in exhibits all over the world. From New York to London, Los Angeles, Paris, Shanghai and Vienna.
As he progressed as an artist, so did his work. He explored many different mediums and finishes, including his signature use of diamond dust in his portraits.
Russel Young’s artwork now exists in many permanent collections, both public and private, across the globe and many well-known celebrities, such as Kanye West, The Obamas, Drake and Brad Pitt, have his work featured in their properties.
Worldwide museums and galleries also feature his work in their exhibitions, such as the Cornell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum in Shanghai, showing his reach and audience is spread vastly across the globe.
If bold, punky and contemporary artwork is your style, featuring Young’s paintings in your home is a wonderful way to add depth, character and culture into the space while honouring one of the most influential and celebrated artists of our time.
For made-to-measure picture frames to display your art collection, get in touch with FRMD today!