Russell Young was born in 1959 in Yorkshire, England where he was immediately put into a foster home, followed by a nunnery, and was ultimately adopted before reaching the age of one. He spent much of his time in Northern England, moving from town to town, leading a very isolating existence. This lack of a personal, or even a shared, history left him unencumbered to explore dreams and fantasies of various worlds, some harsher and some greater than his reality. Similar to his first amateur photographs, Young’s life developed with areas blotted by abandonment. His yearning to fill this void has resulted in a body of work that is an uncompromising, intimate love letter addressed to these vast reaches, which, with every passing inscription, are revealed to be rich, wild frontiers.
After moving to London, Young sparked attention from photographer Christos Raftopoulus, whom he then assisted for several years. Raftopoulos introduced Young to another side of himself, providing him with his own darkroom, inviting him to the opera, and ultimately teaching him the limits of his life need not confine him and therefore his work.
Young continued to photograph celebrities and direct music videos, which would eventually draw him to the United States. He was inspired by the iconic Hollywood movies he would watch with his father, falling in love with the superstars on-screen, many of whom are featured in his highly collectible and recognizable works.
Today, Young remains true to his medium, screen-printing on the same printer originally used by cultural icon and Pop Artist Andy Warhol. Drawn to its texture and luminous finish, he often uses diamond dust in his works, a technique first discovered with an old bag of diamond dust, also previously owned by Warhol. Each of Young’s backgrounds are unique and hand-painted, using paints that he has mixed himself from pigments gathered from around the world. Some canvases are printed up to nine times, each layer enhancing the tactile quality, and thus the depth, of his work.
Russell Young’s paintings and photographs have been featured in countless solo shows and group exhibitions, museums and art fairs, publications and personal collections, and have crossed the auction block at all of the world’s top auction houses, including Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips.