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 Doug Young  (1951 - )

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Lived/Active: Hawaii      Known for: super real figure-still life

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Honolulu, and noted as a photo-realist artist in Hawaii, Doug Young works in watercolor, acrylic and photography. He attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. He also studied at New York University, and at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu. Part of the art program at Coe College included sending students to New York on a work study basis, and Young worked in galleries, installing shows, stretching canvases, and sweeping floors, in order to understand the many aspects of the art world.

Some of the names Young mentions as influences on him are his art teacher, Robert Kocher, Duane Hanson, for whom he worked as an assistant for two years in New York and also in Germany for two years. Other influences were Luis Jimenez, the sculptor, and the painter Eleanore Mikus. He also worked for Ivan Karp at O.K.Harris in Soho, a period of time which Young credits for helping him to settle into a steady life as a full-time artist. When he lived in New York in the 1970s, photo-realism was receiving recognition.

His experience with photo-realism Young brought back to the islands, where he wanted to return to be close to his family and the Hawaiian lifestyle that he loved. Blending photo-realism and local imagery, he created various series of works, including: Chinatown, koi images, Hawaii Theatre, Civic Auditorium, and a fish auction series.

Young regards the camera as his sketchbook. He does not see himself as a pure photo-realist, where the artist is separate from the image and uninvolved, but rather sees his photo-realism as capturing an instant. His paintings inspired by such records become a conglomeration of a whole day or several days, precise records capturing precise moments. Young says he likes to create this sectioning of images because he feels life is in itself a conglomeration of all the different, uneven, experiences that come at a person. He works to balance the duality in life, the yin and yang, our perception of what is perfect versus what really happens.

Examples of such sectioning of images is evident in East End Molokai (1986, watercolor on paper), and Bromeliad 2 (watercolor on paper 1993). Some of his fish studies include Taape, Fish Study 1 (watercolor on paper, 1989). and Koi Series 19 (acrylic on canvas). As an artist he sees himself as a mirror, whose role is to paint the images of his time.

His work has been shown in many venues, including: San Diego (Fine Arts Gallery, 1976, best in show award); Honolulu (Hawaii Artists League, 1981 award; Individual Artist Fellowship Meriat Award, Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, 1995); Missouri (Springfield Art Museum (Samuel O. King Award, 1990), and is also held in numerous private collections.

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