Young painted portraits of his neighbors, friends, angels, Christ, musicians such as Isaac Hayes, as well as historic figures including the abolitionist John Brown and the leader of the Oglala Lakota, Crazy Horse.
Haloes appear on many, emphasizing his veneration of these figures. Some are crying and many are situated amongst mountains and fields, away from the city.
Of the angel portraits Young said, “They look man right in the face and tell man what he’s doing, right or wrong.” In his later years, Young recounted times when people in his life would reappear prompting him to paint their portraits from memory: “They start visiting me. What I mean by that, it look like these faces come in real now as I sleep, and then when I wake up, I can see a face, you know.”
All works Untitled and ca. 1980-1999