Pop Art

Russell Young


Russell Young is a British-American artist known for his vivid and iconic portraits of celebrities and cultural icons. Born in 1959 in Yorkshire, England, Young began his career as a commercial photographer in London before turning to painting in the late 1990s. He quickly gained recognition for his large-scale silkscreen paintings that combined bold colors, stark contrasts, and provocative subject matter.

One of Young’s most famous works is his portrait of Marilyn Monroe, which features the Hollywood icon with eyes closed and lips parted, as if captured mid-breath. The painting is rendered in a striking black-and-white palette that emphasizes Monroe’s timeless glamour and vulnerability. Another notable work is Young’s series of paintings inspired by the Schlitz Beer bull, a vintage advertising icon that the artist transformed into a powerful symbol of American masculinity and consumerism.

In addition to his celebrity portraits and commercial images, Young also creates a range of abstract and mixed media works that explore themes of identity, mortality, and memory. His use of unconventional materials – such as diamond dust, resin, and glitter – adds an element of luxury and excess to his already arresting compositions.

Despite his success and critical acclaim, Young remains down-to-earth and committed to his craft. He cites diverse influences ranging from Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud, and he continually pushes himself to evolve and experiment as an artist. As he once said, “I am always trying to challenge myself and take risks. That’s the only way to grow as an artist.”

Overall, Russell Young’s work is characterized by its boldness, energy, and emotional impact. Whether capturing the essence of a celebrity, reimagining a cultural icon, or exploring the depths of the human psyche, Young’s art invites us to see the world in a new and vibrant way.