Russell Young: A Picture Paints A Thousand Words
“And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr., March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963; Image Source: ABC News
Welcome to this week’s Weekend Art Fix by Russell Young.
Renowned for using powerful images appropriated from history and popular culture, British-American pop artist Russell Young, loves to glamourise “a very aggressive and violent image”.
Like pop artists past and present, Russell remakes these images which attest to the appetites and bewitching excesses of fame.
This week's featured artwork, "Riot" is based on Martin Luther King Jr's speech "The Other America" (1967).
Extract: “But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard."
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. What does this powerful image say to you?
Medium: Mixed media (screen print, acrylic, enamel and diamond dust) on canvas, signed by the artist
- Image: 157.5cm x 121.9cm
- Framed: 167.5cm x 127.5cm x 9.5cm
To see more of Russell's artwork, click here
About The Artist
Artist: Russell Young
Russell Young is a British-American artist known for his silkscreen paintings featuring historical and pop culture images. His work also includes sculpture, installations and film.
Russell studied photography, film and graphic design at the University of Chester, and then attended the Exeter College of Art and Design in the UK.
Russell's big career break came in 1986 when he photographed George Michael for the Faith album cover. In addition he has also photographed legends such as Morrissey, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, President Obama, David Bowie, the Smiths, REM, Diana Ross and Frankie Goes to Hollywood to name a few.
Faith Artwork — Photo Credit @ Russell Young
During the 90s, Russell gave up photography to pursue his love of painting. He relocated to New York and in 2001, began his ‘Pig Portraits’ series. He acquired the mugshots of musicians, actors and political figures, and enlarged them as bold, colourful, silkscreen portraits of Sid Vicious, Elvis Presley, Jane Fonda, Malcolm X, Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra and Lee Harvey Oswald. "They were meant to be anti-celebrity portraits. To take a dig at my former career I guess. As a release. But they ended up – I think they look better than they do in some of the sessions.”
He has shown in galleries and museums in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles.
His silkscreen paintings have acquired a huge and illustrious fan base and can be found 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.
Until the next one Addictees, "Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine." - Anthony J. D'Angelo
Blair & El xoxo