We live in an age of information overload from all sides, particularly from the media. How this overload influences our memory, and consequently our daily lives, figures prominently into the work of Denver-based artist Dustin Young. His reinterpretations of images from contemporary society remove the shock-value and disambiguity; what remain are subtle visual associations on paper and canvas that stir the viewer’s unique recollection of widespread imagery.
We had the privilege of speaking with Young about his influences and process:
GOCA: The concept and experience of memory seems to be a major theme. Why do you explore this theme?
Dustin: I have always been interested in how and why we store and recall certain information. What associations inspire certain memories? What do these associations say about us personally, and as a society? I believe memory drives everything. Those memories guide us through every decision and shapehow we experience the world. My work explores personal, cultural, or collective memory through imagery encountered in everyday life. These images are converted into mnemonic devices that allow the viewer to interpret them through their own experiences.
GOCA: Why do you choose the media (ink, graphite) that you do?
Dustin: I’ve been working with graphite for as long as I can remember and have always been fond of the simplicity of working with both graphite and ink. Working with these types of media keeps my color palette non-existent or very limited to prevent the emotive nature of color from overpowering the work. I also enjoy the process of layering the materials to build and shape an image. Like memory, the layered marks interact with each other. Each new mark influences every future mark and is influenced by every mark made prior.
GOCA: What art/artists have been catching your eye lately?
Dustin: Jonathan Saiz is doing some really interesting things at Leon Gallery in Denver and I’m looking forward to seeing his new work. Other great artists that inspire me are Robyn O’Neil, Toba Khedoori, Luc Tuymans, and Robert Longo.
GOCA: Are there any other materials/media you’d like to experiment with in future pieces?
Dustin: I plan to continue experimenting with layered graphite and other drawing/painting processes on panels. I have been working on paper for years and working with materials that are more durable is a really exciting prospect.
Dustin Young was raised in the small, rural town of Dumont, Minnesota near the North and South Dakota border. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Minnesota State University, Moorhead in 2010. He then went on to study Studio Art at Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts where he received his Post Baccalaureate Certificate in 2011. In the Spring of 2014 he received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he taught classes that include Introduction to Oil Painting, Perceptual Drawing, Intermediate Drawing, and Drawing 101 for Non-Majors. He currently works and resides in Denver, Colorado.
About the Exhibition
Great Expectations @GOCA121, downtown
August 4 - November 11, 2017
Erica Day, Nathaniel Hodges, Stephanie Kantor, Suzie McMurtry, Diego Rodriguez-Warner, Elizabeth Selby, Frankie Toan, Streeter Wright, Ryan Wurst, Dustin Young
This biannual exhibition surveys emerging artists working along the Colorado Front Range corridor. Artists working in Colorado in 2017 are diverse and this exhibit at our downtown GOCA121 site aims to reflect that reality. The artists featured are working across a broad range of media - painting, drawing, sculptural installation, new media, and performance - and creating contemporary art in exciting and challenging ways. Great Expectations will introduce you to some of the brightest (art) stars from the Front Range of Colorado.