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Aaron Young

New York based artist Aaron Young has been described as “leaving a mark”, a quote which encapsulates work ranging from Sculpture to ‘Pop Art’, gaining him international acclaim.

Name: Aaron Young
Year of Birth: 1972
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, USA
Mediums: Fine art, Performance, Photography, Sculpture.

About Aaron Young

Aaron Young graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001 and in 2004 gained his Masters from Yale University. Studying at this high level has undoubtedly meant Young has the grounding and knowledge to forge a reputation of the highest order in the art world, however the recognition he has received in a short space of time has defied the norm. Based in New York, Young appears to be keen on spreading his art around the globe. Exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Centre in New York, The Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, Moscow Bienale and the Saatchi Gallery in London all defy the expected phase of small scale repertoire building which is normally seen. Young however delivers a message which cannot be ignored. From his motorbike look the viewer is immediately struck by a man who not only exhibits for the generation of streetwear and rebellion influenced youth – he is part of it. 2006 was arguably the biggest year in Young’s fledgling career. Until this point he had been associated largely with Graffiti murals however his now famed ‘Four Dots’ image which implanted images of Jesus, Charles Manson or Che Guevara into the viewers mind caused an internet sensation. Young appeared to be making reference to streetwear culture by suggesting the variety which emanates from only one creative source – ultimately this goes against the fears of general culture which suggests the youth of today hold no deeper emotions. This trend of refuting general consensus continued for Young where his installation piece ‘Greeting Card’ provided a spectacle piece of the highest calibre. Allowing 12 motorcycles to ride for seven minutes on a black canvas in the dark, a mixture of brighter colours stunned the audience as the lights were switched back on. By using motorcycles to bring out colours such as red and yellow Young again made a statement which suggested the inner beauty of the motorcycle individual who is commonly regarded as a darker rebel in society. Young’s arguably most self revealing work also emerged from this collection. Titled the ‘Young and the Driftless’ a silhouette of Young was put onto clear glass with the shaving of motorcycle tires creating his outline. This Shows how Young is again part of the culture which he appears to be defending and also suggests to the viewer that the self cannot be defined by what is going on around you, ultimately in this case, the culture of motorcycling. Works in 2009 such as ‘Tumbleweed’ where a crushed wire fence was dipped in gold continued to cause a stir, however 2010 has seen Young make an immediate impression. ‘The Right Way to Do Wrong ‘ exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery placed Wrecking balls of extremely fragile Murano glass next to darker pieces created again on glass using tyre shavings. Slogans such as ‘Go Home’ are embedded on the glass whilst the installation is contained in a white space. Perhaps here Young is giving us a glimpse of the internal self of his inspiration stereotype, a rebellious youth. The tyre shaving pieces represent the darker elements of the psyche, created by external factors, Young alludes to the fact these could easily be destroyed by placing these pieces on the floor. The wrecking balls of glass which hold a natural serenity are chained to the ceiling suggesting the beauty within which Young’s earlier works have alluded to. Their fragility however is also their downfall as this can also be easily destroyed. Young has been described as a “commercial artefact”, a paradox which encapsulates his work. Young reveals emotion where it is not normally associated, a fact which demonstrates why still early in his career he continues to produce success.