Ben Young is an Anglo-American painter who achieves an aesthetic of finely balanced chaos: partly accidental, partly considered in his highly gestural large-scale canvases. With his artistic roots firmly in Abstract Expressionism, Young’s paintings unite the outer reality of contemporary urban life and the inner world of the self. 

Young’s process is key to the power of his works, beginning the paintings with impulsive ‘automatic’ scrawling and graffiti. In this way, the doors open to deeper emotional thoughts allowing free association to take over. Young then paints over the scrawls layer by layer, thus the painting becomes a visual analogy for the structure of the unconscious and conscious mind. Like repressed drives, the first scrawled layers are obscured but present, affecting and determining the structure of the painting. Inspiration for his work also comes from the external world: from expressive marks made on city walls, scrawls on public surfaces and the ideas that flow from the movement, colour and confusion of urban environments. The contemporary urban world is visually chaotic, yet has a strange and unpredictable unity. It is this aesthetic that informs Young’s work and his constant experimentation with the painterly and the psychological. 

Young completed his Masters in Fine Art at Central St Martins College of Art


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