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Russell Young

Hard bound book
13 1/2 x 10 in. (34.3 x 256.4 cm)

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In December 1969, at Northern California’s Altamont Speedway track in front of a 300,000 strong audience, an armed and amphetamine-fueled Meredith Hunter is beaten to the floor and killed by Hells Angels to the strains of “under your thumb.” Killing dead the youthful idealism born of the “flower power” generation at Woodstock just four months earlier, this stark and apparently random still captured the moment when music gave way to mayhem madness and ultimately murder.

Through studying and dissecting this source image Young began to experiment using it as a tool to create, rather than as an end in itself. The Helter Skelter paintings are the result of this experiment, a violent and angry dance in which the artist uses the screen as his brush, physically walking around and into the canvas, there is no intended beginning and no certain end rather an urgent overlap that paints its own story, a vortex of anger, energy and excitement.

Between 2010 and 2014 Russell Young was immersed in his Helter Skelter paintings. This book records that series of work.