Artist Doug Young was searching for a new medium when, at a flea market, he stumbled on an old painting on glass. This almost-lost technique was popular with decorative objects in the 19th century, but strangely had its heyday in the 1700s when China used it to produce Americana to sell to Americans. Cue lightbulb.
In Brooklyn fashion, Bushwick-based Young elevated the technique to high art. He applies automotive paint to the underside of thick glass to painstakingly portray — in almost photo-realist fashion — highly charged objects and spaces such as CERN’s Large Hadron Collider and the execution chamber at San Quentin penitentiary. His solo show, opening at Lodge Gallery on Friday is titled “Trace Evidence.”
Young — who in 2001 set a Guinness record by playing the banjo non-stop for 24 hours at a Williamsburg gallery — wants to clarify that his spaces aren’t empty. “If I want to do a painting of an execution table, I put it in the room it was designed for. These are not empty spaces, these are spaces filled with very specific objects.”
J.D. Oxblood (@jdoxblood) is the co-founder of Burlesque Beat.