Russell Young was born in Northern England in 1960. From an early age he was powerfully drawn to the idealized drama of the American dream. He studied film, drawing, photography and graphic design. After college he moved London. He started taking photographs at the live club shows of Bauhaus, R.E.M. and the Smiths. In 1986, he shot the iconic 'Faith' sleeve for George Michael.
In September 1999, Young moved to New York, rented a studio in Brooklyn and began a series of experiments he called, 'Combine Paintings'. He also started what he believed was an extension of his photography in a new series of 'Pig Portraits’ attacking the nature of photography, portraiture and prickly nature of celebrity itself. He showed his first series of Pig Portraits in Los Angeles in 2003.
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 glamorize and chastise in equal measure, the works set out to both assert and challenge our perception and understanding of what it is to be American in the 21st century.
His body of work includes painting, screen printing, sculpture, installations and film. He has shown in galleries and museums 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. Exhibitions include Fame+Shame (2005), Horsepower (2007), Diamond Dust (2008), Dirty Pretty Things (2009), Diamonds are Forever (2010), American Envy (2011), Only Anarchists Are Pretty (2012), American Envy (2012), The Fight of the Paso del Mar (2014), Marilyn California (2013), Helter Skelter (2014), Lost Angels (2014) and Kate Moss (2015), Forever Young (2015).
Russell Young lives and works in California and New York.