John Young

The Comprador's Mirror #3, Spring 1998
digital print and oil on canvas
183 x 223.5 cm
signed, dated and inscribed with title (on the reverse)

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Sherman Galleries, Sydney
Private collection, Sydney

Carolyn Barnes, 'John Young', Craftsman House, Sydney, cat.181, p.247

John Young Zerunge is a Hong Kong-born Australian artist known for his process of painting over layered digital photographic prints on canvas. These acclaimed works have been called "photo-paintings" and often bring together diverse source material such as images from gardening books, landscapes, nude photography, still life pictures and movie stills. 'The Comprador's Mirror #3' (1998) is a large work composed of juxtaposed images of an ancient Roman relief, a female nude and aerial landscapes. These images are deliberately cropped by the artist to remind us of their origins as photographs - frustrating our desire to see the whole scene.

By positioning these diverse images on the same picture plane, Young resists the notion of forming a singular narrative meaning or "bigger picture". Here, the artist is less interested in photography's supposed ability to present truths than its capacity to create a constructed reality. Daniel Palmer wrote in 2007 "John Young's practice has consistently engaged with the anachronistic condition of painting in the age of photography and the media of mass visual reproduction. When he first deployed digital imaging technologies in the 1990s in the 'Double Ground' series, he pioneered the possibilities of Photoshop for a new hybrid kind of painting".

artwork The Comprador's Mirror #3 by John Young

Image courtesy of the artist

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