Selected works by Aaron Young

Aaron Young
Greeting Card 10a (and details)

2007

Stained plywood, acrylic, burnt rubber

10 panels: 4 x 8 ft each Overall: 16 x 20 ft
Aaron Young’s Greeting Card 10a takes its title from a 1944 Jackson Pollock piece, expanding the connotations of action painting. In Young’s Greeting Card 10a the spontaneous scribbles
and gestures associated with Pollock’s subconscious negotiation of the canvas are re-created by something much more powerful: 12 high octane motorcycles. The making of this piece was staged as a performance: plywood panels were laid out to cover a 72 x 128 foot area of the floor, then stained and painted with layers of yellow, pink, orange, and red, covered with a final coat of jet black before a team of bikers rallied on its surface for 7 minutes. Created in the dark with only the bike headlights illuminating the action, the ear-blasting revving of the engines and toxic clouds of exhaust smoke gave the effect of a rock-concert extravaganza, placing abstractpainting in the realm of hard-core spectacle or extreme sport. The painting seen in the gallery is comprised of 6 panels taken from this event; its making can be viewed on the Saatchi Gallery website Click here
Aaron Young
The Young And The Driftless (and details)

2007

Rubber on safety glass

213.4 x 152.4 cm

Young’s practice is often collaborative in nature. Forging relationships with subculture figures such as biker gangs, skateboarders, and tattoo artists, as well as expert craftsmen, Young’s work often focuses on the process of creation as an artistic action or event, with the finished work operating both as independent pieces and documentary material of his performances. The Young and The Driftless is a ‘painting’ made on a panel of the safety glass that surrounded a gallery during a motorcycle performance where a biker sped around a room creating a ‘drawing’ on the floor. The glass was coated with layers of spray glue which collected the rubber shavings that sprayed up from the tyres as the biker rode past, creating an outlined self-portrait of the artist. Through his unorthodox way of working, Young addresses issues of cultural hierarchy to explore sustainable forms of autonomous expression, citing alternative communities and lifestyles.

Aaron Young
Focus On The Four Dots In The Middle Of The Painting For Thirty Seconds, Close Your Eyes And Tilt Your Head Back (Frantic Fruit)

2007

Silkscreen on canvas

147.3 cm diameter
Young’s FOCUS ON THE FOUR DOTS FOR 30 SECONDS, CLOSE YOUR EYES, THEN TILT YOUR HEAD BACK (Frantic Fruit), is an abstracted silk-screen print. Drawing from the graphic language of pop and advertising, as well as the cultural value of the print as art object, Young uses the power of this media to disseminate subliminal messages. The image itself is a pleasing composition – reminiscent of both Warhol’s Rorschach paintings and primitive art – however, if the instructions in the title are followed, a portrait will appear of Jesus, Che Guevara, or Charles Manson depending on the viewer’s perception. The titles of the prints from this series are taken from bubble gum flavours, lacing the high of instant gratification with problematics of religious or political ideologies.

Articles

READY TO WATCH - TEN ARTISTS WITH STAYING POWER IN THE 2006 WHITNEY BIENNIAL

By Karen Rosenburg

"A biennial dies every 30 seconds in the world," curator Philippe Vergne is fond of saying. Still, the Whitney's version never goes quietly, and like a supernova, it scatters light and energy into the atmosphere. We've identified ten artists who, we think, are likely to be around when the dust settles. In the spirit of this globalized Biennial, five hail from the West Coast, three from Europe, and one from West End Avenue. Get a glimpse of them now, while New York's still the center of the universe.

A graduate of Yale's M.F.A. program, famous for turning out art jocks like Richard Serra, Aaron Young, 34, knows how to aestheticize macho aggression. A growling pit bull clamps onto a rope in his video Good Boy, and Young once filled a gallery with a revving motorbike's tire prints and exhaust. "My work is an attack," says the San Francisco native (and current New Yorker), who claims special inspiration from fellow West Coast artist Chris Burden (though Young has yet to shoot himself in front of gallerygoers). "He's referring to approaches that were common in the sixties and seventies," says MoMA and P.S. 1 curator Klaus Biesenbach, "but he is making them cutting-edge." For his first solo show, Young hired a helicopter to train searchlights on the opening; look for more intimidating art in the Biennial, including a bronze sculpture of a boulder spray-painted locals only!

Read the entire article here
Source: nymag.com


UES MOTORCROSS - Rarely is an artist's burnout so enjoyable to watch. Vroom! Vroom!

By Christopher Bollen

On September 17, artist Aaron Young turned the Seventh Regiment Armory into an art-world version of an indoor Hells Angels rally. For seven minutes, ten riders performed elaborate burnouts over a vast patch of specially painted boards; their tires dug into the orange paint, underneath leaving giant scribbles in their wakes. Five hundred VIP guests stood on the second-floor wraparound balcony as the riders skidded, back-circled, and revved their engines. Amid celebrities and curious somebodies such as Stephanie Seymour, Chloďż˝ Sevigny, Terry Richardson, Usher, Rufus Wainwright, and Tom Ford (he and Sotheby's "sponsored" it; Art Production Fund produced it), many in the audience had to make use of the gas masks passed out at the entrance as the air filled with burned rubber and exhaust. At the end, two cycles "signed" the painting AY 07, to cheers

Read the entire article here
Source: nymag.com


REVIEW -AARON YOUNG Harris Lieberman

By Adam E. Mendelsohn

In "1%," his impressive solo debut, Aaron Young has smashed and burned Harris Lieberman Gallery into one of the most red-blooded shows in town. A collaborator by nature, Young has previously solicited day laborers, tattoo artists, helicopter pilots and a football team to help make his art. This time he invited skaters, motorbike riders and bronze casters.

For The Driftness, Young invited a biker named Winkie to ride through the space, leaving a snaking, gestural trace of burned rubber across the gallery's floor. Leaning against the walls are three ghostly silhouettes from the series "The Young and the Driftless." They were made automatically during Winkie's wild ride, when shards of rubber shed by the tires attached themselves to sheets of safety glass treated with glue.

Read the entire article here
Source: timeout.com