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Russell Young


ELVIS TV, 2011
acrylic paint and enamel screen print with diamond dust on linen (Black + White)
33 x 48 1/2 in. (83.8 x 123.2 cm)
From the series American Envy

Price: $13,000

Young’s ‘American Envy’ series is his latest examination of American society, and addresses the idea of the American dream, exposing its fragility. By way of explanation, he says: “Am I asking you to witness my own personal souring of the American dream, or are you being given a deeper glimpse of my life long obsession with American Counter culture?” His images pay homage to Andy Warhol, the original embalmer of celebrity, and he creates silkscreen prints on one of the printing presses originally used by Warhol. Yet Young’s style is completely unique, and he is renowned for his energetic live performances, where he demonstrates his ability to capture iconic images on canvas

The “American Envy” series shatters the illusion of the American Dream, with screen prints such as “Elvis TV”, referring to Memphis Tennessee in 1966 when a young Aaron Elvis Presley shot the screen out of his television, the crackling sound of interference silenced by a single shot, juxtaposed with an image of a smiling Elvis holding a pistol in ‘Elvis Pistol’. A young Jackie ‘O’ gazes coquettishly at the camera in “Jackie”, but some years later, when a single bullet penetrates the windshield of JFK’s Lincoln Continental, her seemingly perfect world is destroyed along with the hopes and dreams of a generation. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”, shows the upside of the American dream, portraying young black boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, who changed his name to Muhammad Ali and propelled himself to stardom through sheer will and determination, silencing critics and challenging the prejudices of a nation along the way.