Russell Young initially made his name in the 1980s as a music photographer. Having learnt his craft as an assistant to photographer Christos Raftopoulos, he forged his own identity by capturing live club shows featuring bands such as Bauhaus, REM and The Smiths. This led to multiple magazine commissions and commissions from record companies.
In 1986 he shot the sleeve imagery for George Michael’s iconic album ‘Faith’ which went on to sell over 25 million copies. This led to more high profile portrait work with musicians ranging from Morrissey and Björk through to Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, including a variety of sports stars and celebrities. Moreover, he went on to direct over 100 music videos for MTV.
In 1992 he moved to America and began to develop his talents as a fine artist. Having endured a traumatic childhood in the North of England, he married actress Fiona Hughes and began a new life in the States. Alternating between the West and East Coast, his first solo exhibition, in Los Angeles in 2003, was an anti-celebrity series of ‘Pig Portraits’.
Young’s artistic output embraces painting, screen printing, sculpture, installations and film. Most important to him are the titles, the crops, and the progression from darkness to light, reflecting his transition from painful early years in northern England to warmth, growth and fulfilled potential under the sunnier skies of America.
His work has been shown in London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles. They are also in some of the worlds most acclaimed private collections of people such as the Balthazar Getty (of the Getty Museum), Abey Rosen, Barack Obama and Brad Pitt, just to name a few.
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