Well known for his bold, iconic, silkscreen paintings of pop imagery turned upon themselves to explore the nature of the American counter culture as seen through the eyes of young boy growing up in Northern England, his bold ground breaking screen print renditions present a visual journey that bares witness to both the excess and ambition that has helped shape the American Dream, a brooding and sometimes brutal celebration of the characters and events that glamorise and chastise in equal measure, whether through direct visual reference or by title, the works set out to both assert and and challenge our perception and understanding of what it is to be American in the 21st century.
Young experiments with diamond dust in many of his works, drawn to the texture and luminous finish. He describes how he first discovered this technique:
It was an old bag of Warhol’s diamond dust. I was looking to give my paintings a three-dimensional quality and a reflective quality; we had tried inks, and we tried all these different things, and then we suddenly discovered this old bag ... We put it onto the painting, and it took on this fantastic life. I took it back to California and pinned it on the wall in my house, and at night the moonlight hit it, and it reflected. And then I took two or three of the paintings outside and hung them on the bushes, and I thought, I love this stuff.
Since he began using it, Young has started to make his own diamond dust, bringing a meditative quality to his screen prints. The material captures the light and forms an aura around the subject: a physical manifestation of the fragile yet enduring nature of fame. The alluring surfaces of the works entice Young’s audience to touch the images, and thereby their subjects, while at the same time creating a barrier that is simultaneously visible and invisible, tangible and immaterial.
His body of work includes painting, screen printing, sculpture, installations and film. He has shown in galleries and meusems in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles. His work is included in the collections of Aby Rosen, The Qatari Royal Family, Kate Moss, David Bowie, Liz Taylor, Barack Obama, The Albertina Museum, The Saatchi Collection and Brad Pitt.