Mark Young is a British ex-pat now living and making art in Los Angeles.
A self confessed dreamer and under achiever in school, he cites the one event at the age of 15 that changed all that and put him back on the rails to becoming a successful photographer. That event was a 3 week work experience placement in The Portsmouth News, under his new mentor, Dave Morris.
After going back to get his A Levels, he studied Photography HND at Kent Institute of Art & Design. There, he found his niche in developing a publishable style of back stage photography in the London Comedy Circuit. This lead to work being published in national newspapers and worldwide magazines. There was even a brief stint as stills photographer for BBC television.
From comedians to rock musicians, Mark Young’s photography of live concerts and rock star after parties became legendary. He even travelled to exotic locations such as Egypt and Cuba. Yet all this came to an end when he went back to his original college to teach photography and settle down.
Then in 2009 he married his American sweetheart, Sheila and emigrated to USA to start a new chapter in his life adventure. Yet photography had become too easy and everyone was doing it. He needed something new.
In the year 2BC (2 years before Covid) Mark rediscovered his dormant love of drawing and painting. Learning everything he could from YouTube videos and online courses, he overcame old mental blocks and obstacles involving color mixing. This all started with whimsical paintings of animals and fish at first. But eventually he developed insights into figurative and abstract aesthetics which led to this ongoing exploration of following the muse and letting the paintings lead the way.
My work explores the relationship between the comic absurdity and the way individuals choose to present themselves to their audience. With influences as diverse as Ralph Steadman, Terry Gilliam and David Bowie, new insights are manufactured from both constructed and discovered layers.
Ever since I was a pre-adolescent I have been fascinated by the essential unreality of the mind. What starts out as yearning soon becomes corroded into a dialectic of greed, leaving only a sense of unreality and the prospect of a new understanding.
As temporal replicas become transformed through studious and academic practice, the viewer is left with a tribute to the inaccuracies of our existence.
“Relinquish all control”
words of advice from Jack White, referring to songwriting, yet those same words are tru for artists. Let the painting decide what it’s going to become. Don’t force it.
Abstract pieces allow for more freedom of experimentation, allowing for deeper textures and a more cohesive color harmony than with figurative representations. Yet with both genre’s one should always strive to experiment.