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Russell Young Retrospective Exhibition at the Goss-Michael Foundation

Marilyn Crying Dyptic by Russell Young, 2011 (image courtesy the artist)

Marilyn Crying Dyptic by Russell Young, 2011 (image courtesy the artist)

Russell Young Retrospective
Goss-Michael Foundation
March 7 through March 31, 2012

The Goss-Michael Foundation will premiere a retrospective exhibition by prominent British artist Russell Young. The exhibition will open to the public on March 7 and continue through March 31.

The Goss-Michael Foundation, a nonprofit organization, exists to educate, engage and inspire audiences by presenting exhibitions of British contemporary art, as well as provide vast resources, educational programs and scholarships to aspiring artists.

Earlier exhibitions have featured Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Sarah Lucas, Marc Quinn, Nigel Cooke and Michael Craig-Martin.

It was 20 years ago that Russell Young first lent his eye to celebrity culture. That assignment was photographing Foundation co-founder and music icon George Michael for the sleeve of the album Faith, which won the 1989 Grammy Award for Album of the Year and sold over 25 million copies worldwide.

That job launched a career and soon Young was shooting musicians like Morrissey, Bjork, Springsteen, Dylan, REM, New Order, The Smiths, Diana Ross, Paul Newman and many other celebrities. The next natural step was directing music videos; Russell directed a hundred music videos during the height of MTV.

Ten years into his career, Young started painting, but his work remained private until 2003, when Young showed his first series, and first sold-out show of paintings, called Pig Portraits, about the glamour in the dark side of crime, fame, sex, drugs, rock and roll.  On the heels of the first series came Fame + Shame, a visual celebration of the inevitable fallout of resulting chaos that comes from the three decades of cultural excess.

Dirty Pretty Things is one of the first diamond dust prints he produced and reflects Young’s love for light after growing up under the leaden skies of Northern England. One of the most famous images is his Marilyn Monroe in Living Well is the Best Revenge.

In 2010, Young endured an eight-day coma, pneumonia and ARDS: all induced by the H1N1 flu virus. He emerged from his near-death experience with severe memory loss and an incredibly weak body. During his long recovery he began to examine his life and his surroundings in a whole new way. Young left the hospital and had to learn to breath, write, draw, think and walk for the second time in his life.

Young came again to paint. This time, freed from the domestication of the “picture world” as a feral boy, his art was filled with a new, rough energy of violence, sex and power. With the Helter Skelter series, Young learned to dance with this energy, crossing into the subconscious.

“My work is sort of a soundtrack to my life, loves, experiences and influences and my method of working is to search, destroy and create. The images of this series have been collected from newspaper cuttings, eBay, and long correspondence with police departments throughout the world or even given by celebrities themselves. The idea to create ‘anti-celebrity’ portraits was probably a reaction to my former career,” said Young. “However, they turned out to be even more beautiful and iconic. There is undeniably this attitude that is very real, in your face, a beauty that is hard to ignore. My art is a sort of soundtrack to my life, loves, experiences and influences. These would be my heroes that are missing from art history.”

In addition to the images that will be seen in this retrospective, Young is also exposing his studio to the world through a 24-hour live webcam broadcast over the coming months. This performance piece will be streamed from his studio in California and can be viewed at

Russell Young has risen to become one of the most collected and sought after artists of our time. Celebrities and the most discriminating collectors like Abby Rosen, the Gettys, Elizabeth Taylor, David Hockney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, David Bowie and President Barack Obama have added Young’s works to their collections. His larger than life screen print images from history and popular culture are compelling, daunting, and undeniable.

Young is married to actress Finola Hughes and they have three young children: Dylan, Cash and Sadie.   He lives and works in New York and California.

The GMF is pleased to present this exhibition which will highlight Young’s most famous works including a number of pieces mentioned above.

The Goss-Michael Foundation

The Goss-Michael Foundation was founded by George Michael and Kenny Goss in June 2007. The Foundation offers the public a rotating schedule of exhibitions derived from Goss and Michael’s private collection of British contemporary art as well as other institutions. These exhibitions serve as a challenge to preconceived art notions and strive to set a new standard in artistic awareness by providing visitors with fresh and fascinating art experiences. Through these experiences, the Foundation hopes to generate new perspectives and conversations on the creative methods of contemporary artists. Locally, the Foundation is dedicated to contributing to Dallas’ thriving artistic community and enhancing the public’s familiarity and interaction with contemporary and emerging British artists. The Foundation fosters young artists in Dallas, and throughout Texas through numerous scholarships and art education programs.

The Goss-Michael Foundation hours are Tuesday-Friday 10:00am-6:00pm, Saturday 11:00am-4:00pm, Monday by appointment only. There is no charge to visit the Foundation.

Marilyn Crying Dyptic by Russell Young, 2011 (image courtesy the artist)

Marilyn Crying Dyptic by Russell Young, 2011 (image courtesy the artist)

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