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Austin Young

(Yhdysvallat, Syntymävuosi 1966)
Austin Young
(Yhdysvallat, Syntymävuosi 1966)

Austin Young, "Jackie Beat", 2000

Signed Austin Young and dated 2000. C-print 75 x 75 cm.

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"Austin has photographed the who’s who of the sub, trans and queer community in New York, LA, and San Francisco. His work has been shown in major gallery exhibitions and has graced the pages of major publications worldwide.

Austin’s portraits blend a subtle pastel colour palette with beautifully simple compositions to create incredibly perceptive images, often commenting on current queer culture.

Austin also has a thriving YouTube channel where he showcases his unique video art and has co-founded Fallen Fruit, which makes art using fruit as the common denominator, in order to change the way we see the world. Fallen Fruit has been exhibited across the US, Mexico, Colombia, and Europe.

We sit down with Austin and ask him about his work, influences and what it is like to work with the hottest drag queens on the planet.

We absolutely love your portraits. What would you say are your greatest influences in your work?

Growing up a small town had a huge influence on my work. I was kinda bullied so I began to identify with punk, new wave, glam rock, John Waters, anything that sat outside the mainstream. Subculture was the only place I fit in.

The Internet has really changed the experience of culture and of sub-culture: it has all become more mainstream. Facebook and other social media platforms have had an influence on my work: I think they allow an immediate conversation with an audience. We are constantly barraged by amazing artwork. We are desensitized. My work is subtle. I think to really get it, you need to pause for a moment and see how it makes you feel.

You have worked with some amazing people including many of the Queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and cultural icons such as Margaret Cho and Leigh Bowery. Can you tell us do you have any favourites you have photographed?

I love doing portraits of anyone. I especially love creating an iconic image of a performer. I have mad respect for Jackie Beat who styles herself from Head to Toe. I’ve made eight videos with Jackie Beat. She is an icon: a cultural treasure and a comedic genius.

I’ve had an artistic relationship with Margaret Cho for 15 years- she’s been in a few of my short videos and I sing a duet with her in my upcoming story telling musical feature documentary: TBD, The Musical.

I feel lucky to have worked with some of incredible culture makers including Diamanda Galas, Elvira, Nadya Ginsburg, Deven Green, Amy Pohler, Siouxsie Sioux, Debbie Harry, Leigh Bowery, etc."

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