Russell Young (British, b.1959) was born in Northern England and spent his first few months in foster care. He was adopted by Ken and Lesley Young when he was four months old. The family moved further north, where the weather was cold and rainy. As a child, Young considered his world to be dark, and he developed a fascination with American culture. He disliked school and often skipped class. He enjoyed punk music and watching soccer matches. Young attended Chester Art College where he studied photography, film, and graphic design. After his parents divorced, the young artist attended Exeter Art College before moving to London.

Young was unable to find work and lived on the streets, where he met photographer Christos Raftopoulos (Australian, b.1940) and became his assistant. Raftopoulos encouraged his assistant to branch out on his own. Young began his career by photographing live punk shows. His photographs were well-received, and he began landing work for magazines and record companies. In 1986, he was hired to shoot the cover of the Faith album for pop star George Michael. He traveled to America and photographed many celebrities including Bruce Springsteen, Bjork, Paul Newman, and Diana Ross. He transitioned into television and shot over 100 videos for MTV. In 1992, the artist moved to Hollywood where he met actress Finola Hughes. The couple married that same year. Young decided it was time to branch out, and so began to paint. Young moved to New York with his wife, and became frustrated as an artist.

He spent time in Tuscany, Italy, where he practiced meditation. Young then moved to Brooklyn and developed a new technique that combined painting and photography. He produced a series of works which became known as Big Portraits. The series featured large photographs which were enhanced with acrylic paint and diamond dust. One piece, titled Reach Out & Touch Faith, features Marilyn Monroe tinted with a red hue and adorned with diamond dust and enamel. Another of his pieces, Sid Vicious, features a portrait of the singer tinted red and emblazoned with the words: "It''s your big day in the north. It''s your big day in the north. Love sha sher sha shy pineapple." Young remains married and resides with his wife and children in New York, where he continues to work.

Timeline

1960
Born in England
Currently lives and works in Los Angeles and New York

Exhibitions

2012
This Land is My Land, Taglialatella Galleries, New York, USA
Russell Young, Goss Michael Foundation, Dallas, USA
2011
American Envy II, Keszler Gallery, Southampton, USA
American Envy, Scream, London, England
Diamond Dust, Galerie Hartinger, Vienna, Austria
Icons/ Icones, Gallerie de Bellefeville, Montreal, Canada
Death of a Disco Dancer LIVE, Art of Elysium, Los Angeles, USA
2010
Graffiti Works, Keszler Gallery, New York, USA
Russell Young, Taglialatella Galleries, Paris, France
Diamonds Are Forever, Scream, London, England
Pig Portraits, Guy Hepner, Los Angeles, USA
Scream, Saatchi Gallery, London, England
Russell Young, Robinsons Art Gallery, Knokke-Zoute, Belgium
Diamond Dust, Russeck Gallery, San Francisco, USA
New Paintings, Guy Hepner, Los Angeles, USA
Russell Young, Aberson Exhibits, Tulsa, USA
Dirty Pretty Things, Keszler Gallery, New York, USA; Guy Hepner, Los Angeles, USA; Valentino, New York, USA; Russeck Gallery, San Francisco, USA; Nikola Rukaj Gallery, New York, USA; Taglialatella Galleries, Palm Beach, USA
Scream, London, England
Collectors Contemporary, Singapore
2009
Goat Blood LIVE, Bankrobber, Ithaca, Greece
Russell Young Works on Linen, Galerie Ralph Schriever, Cologne, Germany (solo)
The History of Violence LIVE, Keszler Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
The Last Picture Show, Sims Reed Gallery, London, England (solo)
2008
Russell Young, Karl Hutter, Beverly Hills, USA (solo)
Diamond Dust, Keszler Gallery, Southampton, USA
Fame+Shame LIVE , Keszler Gallery, Southampton, USA
Rebel Rebel, Art of Elysium at Milk Gallery, New York, USA
Russell Young, Collectors Gallery, Singapore (solo)
Only Anarchists Are Pretty LIVE, Milk Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2007
Russell Young, Altermann Modern, San Francisco, USA (solo)
Horsepower, Milk Gallery, New York, USA
Works on Paper, Sims Reed Gallery, New York, USA
Storm, Vanina Holasek Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Fame + Shame, Scream Gallery and Bankrobber Gallery, London, England (solo)
Los Angeles, Galerie Adler, Paris, France
Pig Portraits, Keszler Gallery, Southampton, USA (solo)
2006
Art of the Elysium Annual Art Benefit Exhibition, Los Angeles, USA
Who's That Girl?, Holasek-Weir Gallery, New York, USA
White Rabbit, The Art Of Elysium at Minotti, Beverly Hills, USA (solo)
Russell Young, Sims Reed Gallery, London, England (solo)
2005
Fame+Shame, Vanina Holasek Gallery, New York, USA (solo); The Art Of Elysium at Minotti, Los Angeles, USA
2003
Pig Portraits, SP Gallery, London, England (solo)
Pig Portraits, The Art Of Elysium at Don O'Melveney Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (solo)
2001
Art Heals, Twin Towers Orphan Fund, New Museum of Art and Technology, New York, USA

Public Collections

The Saatchi Collection, London, UK