Russell Young’s - A Working Class Hero is Something to Be
Sparkling portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and Coco Chanel, among other luminaries, will be on display to guests and the public in the lobby of Conrad Indianapolis from October 15, 2012 – April 15, 2013.
As part of A Fine Art Experience at the Conrad, the ongoing comprehensive art program at Conrad Indianapolis, ModernMasters Fine Art will present English-born fine artist Russell Young. The series title, inspired by John Lennon’s first post-Beatles solo album Working Class Hero, illustrates the song’s theme concerning working class individuals being processed into the middle classes. In the series, internationally known artist Russell Young harvests and reinterprets images of some of his earliest influences that have since gone on to inform many of his later works. This exhibit opening marks the first time the series as a whole has been available for viewing and acquisition.
Young, born and schooled in England, first began taking photographs at the live club shows of Bauhaus, R.E.M. and the Smiths. The photographs were exquisite, allowing him to quickly pick up work for magazines and eventually sessions for record companies. In 1986, he shot the Faith sleeve for George Michael, launching him towards America and opportunity. He did portraits of Morrissey, Bjork, Springsteen, Dylan, New Order, Diana Ross, Paul Newman and many other celebrities. He began to direct music videos; one hundred during the glory days of MTV.
Less than a decade ago, Young emerged on the fine art scene with his first series of screen prints titled Pig Portraits, which depicted celebrities through the police mug shots lens. This series included screen prints of Jane Fonda, Steve McQueen, Martin Luther King, Jr., and more. These works were and continue to be recognized as uniquely “Russell Young.” Several series have followed Pig Portraits, including “Rebel Rebel”, “Shoplifters of the World Unite”, “Dirty Pretty Things”, “Bankrobber”, “American Envy”, and, most recently, “Only Anarchists Are Pretty”.
In addition to recognition for his iconic images, Young is also acknowledged for his use of diamond dust. A Working Class Hero series is comprised of about a dozen diamond dust portraits. Young began using this technique in 2007, pressing the crystals into the enamel of the prints. No two diamond dust pieces are exactly alike, as the crystals are applied individually to each work. Young’s “Marilyn” diamond dust pieces continue to reach new highs at public auction. His pieces have graced the auction block at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips de Pury in both the United States and the UK.