Dustin Young

Memory influences everything in our lives. Massive amounts of information are stored from each experience and that data influences future thoughts and decisions. Included are the collective memories of daily headlines and images from pop-culture, as well as personal memories from my own history. Contemporary society is constantly inundated with emotionally charged imagery that aims to shock viewers by appealing to their sensibilities. By reworking the images to avoid shock and specificity, my artwork turns these depictions into mnemonic symbols that stir the mind with associations.

The technique of layering materials, whether in ink, watercolor, or graphite, reflects the manner in which memories are stored and recalled. Each new mark or layer affects the layers before and after its application. The images are constructed in a way to diffuse the emotive response when viewing the work while maintaining its personal significance and mnemonic capabilities.

The subject matter fluctuates from piece to piece, flowing between moments of clarity and confusion by employing a combination of abstract and figurative drawings. Juxtaposing the images helps direct a narrative that remains purposefully vague. The equivocal nature of these images is intended to reflect the construction and organization of memory, which changes and evolves with each new experience. There are recurring motifs, but each drawing is a piece to a puzzle that makes up my experiences and reflects the influence of shared memories of Americana that help define an American experience through personal history. Combining imagery collected from the Internet, pop-culture, and personal experiences develop an enigmatic narrative that allows the viewer to interpret the work through their own memories.