Russell Young was born in the UK in 1959, and now lives and works between New York and California. Young began his career as a photographer, and created the iconic image of George Michael for his “Faith” album cover over 20 years ago. He photographed other legendary musicians including Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Morrissey, going on to direct over 100 music videos during MTV’s golden age before becoming an artist. Young examines American society, and addresses the idea of the American dream, exposing its fragility. By way of explanation he says: "Am I asking you to witness my own personal souring of the American dream, or are you being given a deeper glimpse of my life long obsession with American Counter culture?" His notable "American Envy" series explores the illusion of the American Dream, with screen prints such as "Elvis TV", referring to Memphis Tennessee in 1966 when a young Aaron Elvis Presley shot the screen out of his television, the crackling sound of interference silenced by a single shot, juxtaposed with an image of a smiling Elvis holding a pistol in 'Elvis Pistol'. A young Jackie ‘O’ gazes coquettishly at the camera in "Jackie", but some years later, when a single bullet penetrates the windshield of JFK's Lincoln Continental, her seemingly perfect world is destroyed along with the hopes and dreams of a generation.
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"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee", shows the upside of the American dream, portraying young black boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, who changed his name to Muhammad Ali and propelled himself to stardom through sheer will and determination, silencing critics and challenging the prejudices of a nation along the way.Young made his mark with a graphic, bold style, and his iconic diamond-dust screen prints are sought after by collectors all over the world. He finds inspiration in popular culture and the media; his signature screen prints have immortalized iconic actors and performers from stage and screen, as well as some of the darker events of our sub-culture. His images pay homage to Andy Warhol, the original embalmer of celebrity, and he creates silkscreen prints on one of the printing presses originally used by Warhol. Yet Young's style is completely unique, and he is renowned for his energetic live performances, where he demonstrates his ability to capture iconic images on canvas.
Over the past decade Russell Young has earned international acclaim as a fine artist with a very distinct aesthetic, he has established an impressive auction record and his works are represented in many prestigious private and public collections. Young’s artwork are sought after by celebrities and some of the most discriminating collectors like Abby Rosen, the Getty’s, Elizabeth Taylor, David Hockney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, David Bowie and President Barack Obama have added Russell’s works to their collections. His larger than life screen-print images from history and popular culture are compelling, daunting, and undeniable.
Russell lives and works in New York and California