RUSSELL YOUNG STUDIO
London - Along the length of Brompton Road, where the renowned department store Harrods has stood since 1849, the windows are lined with the diamond-dusted glam of artist Russell Young’s exclusive series ICONS. This is the first time Harrods has ever exhibited the work of an artist not only within its new gallery space inside the store but also along the entire length of its famous storefront windows. Young’s ICONS is the perfect introduction to Art at Harrods, a new partnership between Harrods and Halcyon Gallery, where curated masterworks accompany luxury goods in a reimagining of legacy.
Famed artist Young, known for his luxurious yet visceral work, is no stranger to the nature of stardom. His photography of George Michael for the sleeve of the Grammy-winning album Faithin 1987, led him to a career capturing the early stages of what would become the sweeping orbits of some of our most important cultural figures. Young has photographed the likes of Morrissey, Björk, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, REM, The Smiths, and President Obama before he ran for his presidency.
It is only fitting that ICONS headlines Art at Harrods in celebration of what it means to be an everlasting icon. Enamored by the stories and irresistible allure of Hollywood, Young engages with the practice of myth making he has always been inspired by and had a hand in creating for others throughout the last 50 years. Encrusted in his signature diamond dust, the icons he often looked up to and who kept him alive in his youth are brought to dazzling, colorful life. From Marilyn Monroe to Kate Moss, from Elvis Presley to Muhammad Ali--these revered characters share the stage with luxuries that have become synonymous with Harrods.
In addition to greeting customers, tourists, art aficionados, and passersby in the storefront windows along the entire road, ICONS features work located within Harrods on the third floor in a new 4,000 square foot gallery space. As a series dedicated to the many aspects of fame--excess and restraint, glam and grit, death and immortality--ICONS finds apt company alongside revered masters like Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso as well as other celebrated living artists like Bob Dylan, Dale Chihuly, Lorenzo Quinn, and Paul Cummins.
The series, in partnership with Harrods and Halcyon Gallery, promises to be a groundbreaking introduction to future endeavors that engage audiences with artwork and cultural institutions in extraordinary ways.
ICONS will run throughout January at Harrods, previewing Young’s next major exhibition, FAME, which will open at Halcyon’s New Bond Street Gallery in February, 2020.
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- Russell Young's art will be on display in the windows of Harrords until February 5
- Spectacular pieces showing Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, David Bowie Mick Jagger, and Bruce Lee will be on display
- First time Harrods has engaged into exclusive partnership with an art gallery
London's most famous department store has seen its windows taken over by art for the first time in its history this week.
Spectacular pieces showing Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, David Bowie Mick Jagger, and Bruce Lee, will dazzle shoppers and passers-by in London until February 5.
The pop art portraits have been created by British-American artist Russell Young, 60, known for his silkscreen paintings covered in diamond dust, whose famous fans include Barack Obama, Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Brad Pitt.
The ground-breaking collaboration marks the start of a new initiative between Harrods and the prestigious Halcyon Gallery, aimed at providing those visiting London's flagship store with a continually changing, immersive art experience.
[The world's most iconic department store will see its windows taken over for the first time in history this week, as artwork featuring pop culture icons by an artist loved by the A-list will take over Harrods shop front with pictures including with one of Kate Moss]
[Spectacular pieces showing Marilyn Monroe (pictured) and Jackie Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, David Bowie Mick Jagger, and Bruce Lee, will dazzle hundreds of thousands of shoppers and passers-by in London until February 5.]
This is the first time that Harrods has engaged into an exclusive and collaborative partnership with an art gallery meaning, and Young is the first artist to ever be afforded the honour of dressing the window in Harrods' 171-year history.
Harrods and Halcyon Gallery have also launched a brand new 4000 square foot gallery space on the third floor - featuring world class artworks by Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso, as well as some of the most-celebrated living artists, such as Bob Dylan, Dale Chihuly, Lorenzo Quinn and Paul Cummins.
Young, a celebrity favourite, boasts a uniquely eclectic and wide-ranging array of world-famous collectors, including, Kanye West, David Bowie, Idris Elba, the Kardashians and Dame Elizabeth Taylor. The late Oscar winning actress insisted on visiting Young at his studio in California herself, to watch him in the creative process.
He is best known for his diamond dust depictions of 20th Century icons of entertainment and sport.
Speaking at the Art at Harrods launch, Russell Young said: 'To have my paintings in the windows at Harrods is an honour.
[The ground-breaking collaboration marks the start of a new initiative between Harrods and the prestigious Halcyon Gallery, aimed at providing those visiting London's flagship store with a continually changing, immersive art experience. Pictured is Jackie Kennedy]
[This is the first time that Harrods has engaged into an exclusive and collaborative partnership with an art gallery to put work, such as this piece of Muhammad Ali on display]
'I am displaying my collection of diamond-dusted paintings of icons who were like beacons of light in my youth, like Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Kate Moss, Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley.
'These icons are cast in a myriad of colours, hand-mixed from opulent pigments sourced from around the world, and I look forward to seeing them radiate and shine in the cool winter light of London.
'My relationship with the Halcyon Gallery is a rare and precious thing; many artists seek the kind of love, devotion and integrity that a space like Halcyon shows for my work, and it is a wonderful privilege for the Halcyon Gallery to bring my works to Harrods.'
Halcyon's primary focus will be on showcasing immersive works, including boundary breaking digital exhibits.
Further installations will be strategically placed around the store, and regularly updated, as part of the new art enrichment programme.
[This is the first time that Harrods has engaged into an exclusive and collaborative partnership with an art gallery meaning Young is the first artist to ever be afforded the honour in Harrods' 171-year history. His work includes pictures of David Bowie, shown]
[Young's work is completed with diamond dust - giving it a shimmering exterior - pictured in Elvis]
Born in 1959, he was given up for adoption by his teenage mother at just three months old and grew up in a working-class family in the North of England.
However, Young was inspired by the iconic Hollywood movies he would watch with his father, getting wrapped up in the stories of America and falling in love with the superstars on screen.
He studied photography, film and graphic design at the University of Chester and later attended Exeter College of Art and Design, before moving to London in search of a break.
It wasn't long before he gained recognition for photographing the early live club shows in the late 70s of Bauhaus, R.E.M and The Smiths.
[Young creates images of many pop culture icons, including French actress Brigette Bardot]
In 1987, Young was commissioned to photograph George Michael for the sleeve of his Grammy Award winning album Faith.
The immortal work led to assignments shooting musicians including Morrissey, Bjork, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Paul Newman.
He then went on to shoot more than 100 music videos for leading artists at the height of MTV's popularity in the 1990s.
Young only started painting towards the end of the decade after moving to New York in 1998 and renting a small studio in Williamsburg.
[Young's work includes images of iconic figures from popular culture, including Bruce Lee. He prints of the same press used by Andy Warhol]
In 2003 he launched his first exhibition, a sold-out show of Andy Warhol-style prints called Pig Portraits in Los Angeles.
Today, he remains true to his medium, screen-printing on the same press originally used by cultural icon and Pop Artist Andy Warhol.
Young describes the physical process of screen-printing as being a traditional method of making art, previously used for mass advertising and eventually popularised by Warhol.
In 2007, he began to experiment with diamond dust, having been drawn to the opulence of the light shimmering off the multi-faceted glass.
Each of these original, hand-pulled works combined screen-printing on linen with diamond dust to capture a sense of glamour and beauty.
[In 2007, he began to experiment with diamond dust, having been drawn to the opulence of the light shimmering off the multi-faceted glass and now creates images including the above of Marilyn Monroe. Halcyon's primary focus will be on showcasing immersive works, including boundary breaking digital exhibits but many will be in the window including the above of Marilyn Monroe]
Alex Wells-Greco, creative visual director at Harrods, said: 'Harrods' first creative campaign for 2020, titled Icons, will celebrate the individuals, creativity and design that changed our world. We will kick off with an exclusive show of Halcyon Gallery artist Russell Young. Young's work portrays photographs of cultural and pop icons of the past and present in a diamond-dust patina. During the dark month of January, what better way to start the year than with the brightly coloured, larger-than-life artworks of Russell Young?
'Harrods has an amazing relationship with the Halcyon Gallery and in 2020, we are delighted to introduce and co-create the Art in Harrods programme, showcasing contemporary exhibitions across the store for Harrods' customers to enjoy.'
Halcyon Gallery Managing Director Russell Green said: 'We are incredibly excited to start this new partnership. Harrods is the most prestigious store in the world and our new gallery on the 3rd floor will definitely create a unique experience for the millions of visitors to the store.'
[Russell Young's ICONS runs throughout January at Harrods previewing Russell Young's next major exhibition which opens at Halcyon's New Bond Street Gallery in February 2020 FAME.]
ICONS at Harrods follows Young's landmark retrospective at Modern Art Museum, Shanghai, in 2018.
Young was the first American- British contemporary artist to ever exhibit at the prestigious museum.
His work is represented in numerous prestigious collections, including of the Polk Museum of Art in Florida, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art and the Saatchi Collection among many others. He has also exhibited in museums and galleries in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles.
Russell Young's ICONS runs throughout January at Harrods previewing Russell Young's next major exhibition which opens at Halcyon's New Bond Street Gallery in February 2020 FAME.