From the silk screen to the blockchain: Russell Young brings Marilyn to the metaverse

British-American artist Russell Young has made a name for himself with his 3-dimensional, diamond-dusted silk screens. Now, he comes to NFTs.

Jan 13, 2022 Artist Statements

11 months ago

British-American artist Russell Young, known for his diamond-dusted silkscreen paintings of cultural icons, is now transferring his art onto the blockchain in his newest work, “Marilyn Crying.” The NFT consists of 100 original colors created from the process of making silk screen paintings. Each of the panels of “Marilyn Crying” is a photograph of an individual silk screen painting, in which Young rigorously reflects the raw, hands-on nature of his craft. The piece showcases over 1,000 variations which he mapped himself.

To discover this new way of bringing images to life in a new medium was an incredibly rewarding process. I already think of my work in a linear, cinematic sense because my practice consists of creating series of screen prints that are of icons, protagonists of America’s culture and counterculture throughout history. NFTs allow me to translate the filmic language of my physical work and give it an energy all of its own.

— Russell Young

NFTs are like another color in my artist palette. They’re a new way for me to communicate my obsessions with fame, shame, and color with the world.

— Russell Young

“Marilyn Crying” on SuperRare

With its elements of repetition, transition, and movement, “Marilyn Crying” traces Young’s roots as a photographer capturing the music scene of 1980s London, to filming over 100 music videos in MTV’s golden age in the 1990s, to hand-painting and hand-pulling hundreds of silk screen paintings today. Can the physical translate into the digital? Young thinks it is worth a try.

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