ModernMasters Fine Art presents Internationally known artist Russell Young as part of A Fine Art Experience at the Conrad, the ongoing comprehensive art program at Conrad Indianapolis (50 West Washington Street, Indianapolis). Opening on October 15, A Working Class Hero Is Something To Be will grace the five-star hotel’s public fine art area until April 15, 2013. A series of ten diamond dust icon portraits, this exhibit opening in Indianapolis marks the first time the series in its entirety has been shown for viewing and acquisition.
The series title is inspired by John Lennon’s first post-Beatles solo album, “Working Class Hero”. Here, English-born 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. These early works often feature his signature parings of lyric's sparring with celebrity imagery providing the viewer with an ironic and often uncomfortable juxtaposition of fame and fantasy, incorporating the dark humor and rhetoric of his northern heroes with the glamour and celebrity of his subjects. The white light of television puncturing the dark recesses of a 1970's childhood, saying, “If you want to be a hero then just follow me….”
Young, born and schooled in England, first began to taking photographs at the live club shows of Bauhaus, R.E.M. and the Smiths. The photographs were exquisite and he quickly picked up work for magazines and eventually began sessions for the 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. In 1992, Young moved to Hollywood. He met Finola Hughes, they married and life took shape for him in America. His career as a photographer and music video director was flourishing. He carved out the time and began to paint seriously."
Less than a decade ago, Young emerged on the fine art scene with his first series of screenprints titled “Pig Portraits,” which depicted celebrities through the police mug shots lens. These works would later be recognized as uniquely “Russell Young.” It was during this time frame that ModernMasters Owner, Rhonda Long-Sharp, first encountered Young’s works at a gallery in Hollywood, California. She and husband Scott Sharp purchased their first work on the spot. “The way Russell is able to capture a moment with composition, texture, color and tone is like no other. I never tire of his works. I have seen his portrait of Dr. King from the `Pig Portraits’ series hundreds of times and yet every time I see it, I see it for the first time.”
In addition to recognition for his iconic images, Young is also known for his use of diamond dust. His work continues to reach new highs on the auction block at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips de Pury in both the United States and the UK, fetching prices in excess of $45,000 USD.
Young’s works have been acquired by major forces in the art world (think Abey Rosen, the Ghetty family, Alberto Mugrabi, and The Saatchi Collection) and his works are in the private collections of international figures including, President Barack Obama, The Qatari Royal Family, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Athens, Brad Pitt, David Bowie, Marc Jacobs, David Hockney, and Kanye West.
Russell Young lives and works on the California coast and in Brooklyn, New York. His work has been shown in London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles.
More About ModernMasters Fine Art
ModernMasters Fine Art specializes in the acquisition of rare hand-signed works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miro, and Robert Indiana. Each of these artists is recognized as pioneers in the modern and contemporary art world and has a long-lasting, uninterrupted history of positive auction results and respect in the market. Rhonda Long-Sharp, J.D., an IFAA (www.ifaacertified.com) appraiser and owner of ModernMasters, examines and verifies the authenticity of each piece, allowing ModernMasters Fine Art to provide an unparalleled guarantee that works will be authentic and that the condition is as represented.
More About A Fine Art Experience at Conrad
ModernMasters Fine Art presents A Fine Art Experience in partnership with Conrad Indianapolis. The program is a fully integrated, exceptionally curated, art education and exhibition program. The comprehensive concept features works by world-renowned artists Russell Young, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, William John Kennedy and additional fine art artists. Twenty Art Ambassadors are trained monthly and provide tours to hotel guests upon request.
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Editors note: High res images available on request.