Russell Young was born in 1959 in Northern England. From an early age, Young was drawn to the idea of the quintessential “American dream,” which he thought represented freedom and possibility. Young’s exploration of American counter culture represents a journey that bears witness to both the excess and ambition that has helped shape the ‘American dream,’ a brooding and sometimes brutal celebration of the characters and events that glamorize and chastise in equal measure. Whether through direct visual reference or by title, the works set out to both assert and challenge our perception and understanding of what it is to be American in the 21st century.
The talented photographer quickly picked up work for magazines, shooting portraits of celebrities and directing 100 music videos during the glory days of MTV. His work has been shown in London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles. In 2013, the Polk Museum of Art acquired one of his works for its Permanent Collection (right). Young’s exhibition at the Polk Museum of Art, Forever Young: A Retrospective, includes works from his various series.