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Anti-Celebrity Portraits by Russell Young

  • 2 min read

artrepublic is delighted to feature a range of exceptional portrait prints from the highly sought-after artist Russell Young. He has been painting for over 10 years, having had his first public showcase in 2003 with “Pig Portraits”, portraits of celebrity mug shots.

He is now hugely successful with his works selling for as much as $48,000 at auction and is now collected by the rich and famous from Barak Obama to David Hockney to Brad Pitt.

Young uses images of history and popular culture in bold colour. Choosing well known figures from the 20th century he immerses himself in the darker side of celebrity culture, the sex drugs and rock and roll that often ultimately ends in tragedy.

In controversial works such as Kate and Pete he is capturing a moment and making it larger than life. This was part of the “Fame + Shame” series examining the edgy relationship between celebrity and the media here Kate Moss is snapped dressed as Myra Hindley with her self-destructive partner at the time Pete Doherty as Ian Brady.

British born but now based in the America Russell Young states that ...“My work is sort of soundtrack to my life, loves, experiences and influences. My method of working is to search, destroy and create. The images of this series have been collected from newspaper cuttings, Ebay, long correspondence with police departments throughout the world or even given by celebrities themselves. The idea to create "anti-celebrity" portraits was probably a reaction to my former career. However, they turned out to be even more beautiful and iconic. There is undeniably this attitude that is very real, in your face, a beauty that is hard to ignore...”

He started out as a photographer and music video director working with some of music’s best talent such as Bjork, REM, Bruce Springsteen and New Order. He now prefers the fact that working as an artist he is in direct contact with the medium. He has even done live screen printing of his multiples at shows, once even printing in blood to the shock and awe of a live audiences at the History of Violence show in 2009.

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