Aaron Young Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Aaron Young
Greeting Card 10a (and details)


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)


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)


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.

Aaron Young's Biography

Aaron Young
Born, San Francisco, California

Lives and works in New York


1%, Harris Lieberman, New York

Kick the Dog, Herzilya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzilya, Israel
Never Work (Bootlegs and other operations), Sister Gallery, Los Angeles

Tender Buttons, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis


No. 1: “Destroy, She Said” Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf, Germany
2 Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow Biennale of contemporary art, Moscow
Dark Victory, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Centre, Athens
Uncertain States of America, Herning Kunstmuseum, Herning
Uncertain States Of America, The Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw

Action, FRACPACA, Marseille, France
Group Exhibition, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya
Mid-Life Crisis, Salander-O’Reilly, New York
Montezuma´s Revenge, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York City, New York
Survivor, Curated by David Rimanelli, Bortolami Dayan, New York City, New York
The Show will be open when the show when The Show Will Be Closed, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris
Uncertain States of America - American Art in the 3rd Millennium, The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
Uncertain States of America, Serpentine Gallery, London
View (Eleven): Upstate, Curated by Amy Smith-Stewart, Mary Boone Gallery, New York
Whitney Biennial 2006 - Day for Night, Whitney Biennial, New York City
Yes Bruce Nauman, Zwirner & Wirth, New York City, New York

Absolute Summer Show, Kirkhoff, Copenhagen
Bridge Freeze Before Road, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
Day Labor, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island
Greater New York 2005, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island
New Acquisitions, Museum of Modern Art, New York
New Art. New York: Reflections on the Human Condition, Traun and Salzburg, Austria
New Photography, JJC Museum, Kansas City
Withdrawal, Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris

Always Already Passé, Gavin Brown Enterprises @ Passerby, New York
Let the Bullshit Run a Marathon, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York City
Some Exhaust, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York City
Miami Heat, Pacemaker, Gallery Miami, Florida

From Here On, Guild & Greyshkul Gallery, New York,
Circus, 8th Havana Bienal, Havana, Cuba

Cinco Artistas Jovenes de Diferentes Paises, Galeria Luis Andelatado, Valencia, Spain

New Orleans Performance Festival, New Orleans
Strictly Ballroom, Stanford University Museum, Palo Alto, California

Paladar, 7th Havana Bienal, Cuba

12th International Cleveland Drawing Biennale, Cleveland Art Gallery & Middlesbrough Art Gallery, Middlesbrough