by Coco Young
Publication date: November 2014
Binding: Hard cover
Extent: 80 pp
Trim size: 184.7mm x 259mm
Photographs:Approx 60 colour & B&W
Artist's website: www.coco-young.com
Coco Young’s first major publication, Vanity, explores the constructs of identity within an information and image-driven context where existential ideals govern social etiquette. Young combines analogue documentary photography with digitally-produced body-scans, bringing the transformative power of technology to bear on the human exterior, deforming it from its seemingly natural state. Water—a once public and abundant resource that is now bottled, sold, and manipulated to create artificial products—provides the allegorical seedbed in which Young's explorations of the human surface take root.
Young, a former fashion model, is influenced by her own experiences in an industry where temperamental ideals of beauty encourage the desire for a self-produced public persona. Young's prototype is the mythical Narcissus and his infatuation with his own image as it appears—distorted ever so slightly—in the pool of water in which he gazes. In Young's perception, both Echo (the lover Narcissus rejects) and Narcissus' reflective pool materialize as the engrossing and immersive experiences of smartphone-powered social media.
Coco Young is an artist from New York City who grew up in Marseilles, France. She completed her undergraduate studies at Columbia University in Art History and was selected in 2013 by Richard Kern as his choice for promising young photographer in Dazed & Confused. Her work has been featured in Dazed & Confused, Oyster and The Journal.
Feature on Musee Magazine: http://museemagazine.com/art-2/features/cocoyoung/
"The formal strength of the work is relevant in the scans of the body she employs. They suggest relics, bodies fixed in amber to remember later. There is also fluidity present within the images. It is present in the sunlight dripping off youthful clavicles and hair. In the scans themselves, there is the hint of veins full of flowing young blood and the various creases of skin, which meander and crack along their finely lotioned surfaces suggesting continuity without end. This Fluidity is travels on its way to the determined palace of aging. The paradigm of water as reflection and narcissism, a manifold shift into an inevitable progression of self and self-interest."
-Brad Feuerhelm, American Suburb X
"Just like the beauty that came before our modern day technological obsessions, where our first instinct is to “pop a filter over it”, Young perceives water as a once abundant natural source that – just like beauty – is now mined and manipulated artificially."
-Georgina Evans, Dazed & Confused
"Challenging conventions, photogrpaher Coco Young is unpicking the underlying framework of a generation consumed with its own image"
- Tish Weinstock, i-D Magazine
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