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Artist Doug Young Attempts to Elevate ‘Low’ Art to Uplifting

(Photo: Ronit Schlam)

(Photo: Ronit Schlam)

It was an oddly apropos time to be thinking about “high” art and “low” art, which is what artist Doug Young and I discussed at the Van Doren Waxter Gallery uptown just a few days before the all-consuming presidential election. I’d mentioned a New Yorker article that eschewed the line separating left and right in favor of a line dividing “up versus down”: a working class vs. a desk-ridden, urban class.

We were looking at Young’s pieces “Chains,” which are exactly that: carved wooden chains, created in what Young called a “kind of monotonous, boring, really unsatisfying use of my time. It was only satisfying at certain moments,” like when he stepped back to see the enormity of his progress.

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A Record-Setting Banjo Picker Created These Fantastic Glass Paintings

Tray of Food by Doug Young

Tray of Food by Doug Young

Death Chamber by Doug Young

Death Chamber by Doug Young

Dirty Fridge by Doug Young

Dirty Fridge by Doug Young

Mission Control by Doug Young

Mission Control by Doug Young

Price Is Right by Doug Young

Price Is Right by Doug Young

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.
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