JAY YOUNG: Visual artist exploring enigmatic figures

JAY YOUNG : Artiste visuel explorant des figures énigmatiques

Jay Young (@jayyoungstudio) is a self-taught visual artist based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He describes himself as being a mixture of abstract expressionism, cubism and surrealism, focusing on the distortion of the figure into different perspectives.

Jay discovered painting more than 10 years ago and became increasingly passionate about this practice, particularly for the work of distorted figures. He was fascinated by the way painters could manipulate values, colors and composition in non-traditional ways to create a mood for the viewer, much like a song. He ended up devoting all his time to studying art history and practicing in his bedroom, before attending art school. However, in his first year, his professor told him the story of Franz Kline, who had been expelled from Pratt for telling his students, "if you want to be a painter, get a studio and paint." So Jay decided to leave school, get a job and a workshop, and hasn't looked back since.

Jay's main influences include Nicola Samori, Caravaggio, Michalenglo, Jenny Saville, Yukimasa Ida, George Condo, Adrian Ghenie, Cy Twombly, Francis Bacon, Picasso and Ryan Hewett.

Jay describes his working process as follows: He starts with watercolor sketches to warm up, often working on several pieces at the same time. He starts with a recent piece or a piece he started a year ago, and looks at the piece and imagines painting it, which helps him slow his mind and avoid jitters. He follows Condo's approach, painting first and thinking later. He appreciates what impulsiveness reveals. He experiments with washes, spray paint, epoxy, acrylic, etc. and breaks the piece down into spaces to perfect it. He juggles this approach keeping values, colors, soft/hard edges and overall composition in mind.

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