Everybody has a muse, and my design muse du jour is artist Russell Young.
Every time I look at one of his screenprints I think, how could I not?? The way he diamond-dusts each already iconic piece speaks my language. I mean, taking a portrait of Marilyn or Jagger, and then coating it in an additional, iridescent layer of glam? Are you kidding me? It’s just beyond, and a perfect example of “more is more”.
A bit of background: Russell Young is a British-American artist who started out photographing early live club shows in the late 70s for the likes of REM and The Smiths. He shot portraits of artists from Bjork to Bob Dylan, but eventually decided to concentrate on art and painting after moving to New York in 2000.
And let’s face it, the pieces are edgy – which means they lend an intriguing amount of drama to any room they’re featured in. Young’s fascination with fame and excess really permeates each oversized print - and if you gaze long enough, they become your fascination, too.
The glitter, one of the signature flourishes of Young’s portraits, infuses each of his pieces with an almost otherworldly, ethereal quality, making them even more mesmerizing than the celebrities themselves. There’s an additional layer of elegance a statement piece like one of these adds to a room; it commands your attention, each shimmering particle of diamond dust catching the light from different angles.
Which works out nicely because when a person walks into a room, they instinctively look for a place to focus their attention. You have a tremendous amount of power in this respect – controlling where people look, without even saying a word. And these days, Russell Young’s work is absolutely one of my favourite ways to do this.
Have a look at some of the ways I’ve incorporated his stuff into my designs and get inspired.