Please introduce yourself
My name is Jay Young(@jayyoungstudio). I’m a self-taught visual artist based out of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
How would you best describe your style?
A mix between abstract expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. I just focus on distorting the figure into different perspectives and realities with various mediums.
How did you get into art?
I always loved to express myself through different mediums. I discovered painting over 10 years ago and fell more in love with it as time went on, especially distorted figurative work. I was fascinated how painters could manipulate values, colors, and composition in non traditional ways to create a mood for the viewer, kind of like a song. I ended up engulfing my time in my bedroom studying art history and practicing, so I went to art school shortly after. The first year my professor at the time told me a story about Franz Kline getting fired from Pratt for telling his students if you want to be a painter get a studio and just paint. So I dropped out, got a job, a studio and haven’t looked back since.
Who or what are some of your major influences?
Nicola Samori, Caravaggio, Michalenglo, Jenny Saville, Yukimasa Ida, George Condo, Adrian Ghenie, Cy Twombly, Francis Bacon, Picasso and Ryan Hewett.
Can you tell us about your working process?
I begin with loose paint sketches just to warm-up the thought of connecting dots. I am usually working on multiple pieces at a time, so I’ll start with one I’ve recently started or a piece from a year ago. I’ll stare at it and kind of paint with my eyes.. it’s weird, but it helps continue the process and slow my mind down from any jitters. I follow Condo’s approach; paint first then think second. I value what impulsivity reveals. I’ll experiment with washes, spray paint, epoxy, acrylic, etc. then break the piece up into spaces to refine. I’ll juggle back and forth for awhile with that approach keeping values, colors, soft/hard edges and overall composition into play. Then there reaches a point in the painting where I tend to look at it as a sculpture and start polishing and building up certain areas with oil paint. Majority of the process stems from the subconscious mind and like to follow the concept of chaos into order.
What motivates you to create?
Obsession. At the end of the day it’s my passion and I’m constantly curious when It comes to the creative process – that’s where the fun is.
What is your studio like?
My studio for the past 7 years was a farmhouse built in the late 1800’s in Pungo(rural side of Virginia Beach.) It’s old, quiet, and haunted…
What are you currently working on?
I’m exploring digital painting, I would like to eventually enter the NFT space, but it’s been helping me reverse engineer my physical work too. I just finished a 18ft Crucifixion painting and will be scaling my future work like so. Other than that just creating more work and innovating my process.