THE pretentious white-boy from Welkom who arrived on the Cape Town art scene during a millennial slump, had very little to show for himself except a big mouth. Young quickly made a name as an infamous rude-boy, whose method of operation was the hackneyed “art attack” involving one or more victims. (As one of his “victims” I believe I can report about such nefarious activities). Not content with sacrificing aesthetics and profit, Young took to bully boy stunts and conning the media into participating in what he called “conceptual art”. In reality Young disliked everything he saw. As columnist Suzy Bell who “bought” Bruce Gordon after being approached by Young in a scheme relates: “The problem with Ed is, he isn’t an artist. Not like Wayne Barker who was rude, had attitude but at the end of the day, produced the goods.”
With little to show for his visual arts degree purchased from Michaelis, Young was forced out of desperation into producing futile and sterile acts. Young even struck up a weird relationship with Ronald Suresh Roberts at the height of the scandal involving Robert’s defamation case against the Sunday Times. Whilst Roberts was being pilloried and depicted as a carpetbagger with his head up our second President’s behind, Ed chose to support Robert’s freedom to be unlikable.
Then last year he distributed business cards in conjunction with Andrew Lamprecht with the words: “The Church of Satan, Advocates. Indulgence Instead of Abstinence. For Information on classes & Other activities write or call. Anton Szandor La Vey.” The resulting adolescent masquerade of American Pop imitation in which Young dressed up as the Devil, pronounced upon orgasm, masturbation and sex with under-age boys and girls, did not strike me as particularly daring or inventive. Conceptually it was about as entertaining as a Blockbuster Video pulled from the half-price section.
Nothing more than “good, clean, fun” a critic from the Cape Times mused, as it appeared Young was now unable to shock, had slipped into the kiddy porn section and had lost his fifteen minutes of fame. However the combination of Satan and Suresh Roberts had really begun to raise questions as to how serious Young is in his worship of Old Nick, Beezelbub, Lucifer, call it what you will? The reason I mention this, is because I was party to yet another ugly spat in which my privacy was invaded by Young et Roberts at a local Cape Town drinking hole.
As you are most probably aware, Ed Young and I have a difficult relationship, the least being his participation a number of years ago in an act of thuggery involving a bar tab at Lola’s, and a more recent incident in which he attempted to concoct an outrage involving myself, Ralph Borland and Ronald Suresh Roberts. There were a number of witnesses, including Julia Clark and in fact I was in the midst of a conversation with Borland and Clark when Roberts suddenly took offence to my presence at the Waiting Room (I was there at the invitation of Borland, following a seminar at Michaelis) and Ed Young weighed in, turning the incident into some form of assault on his dignity or person.
The matter rapidly descended into enmity, with another incident involving Gael Reagon. As you know, Gael is a contributing editor for Chimurenga. As it so happened we were at Joburg Bar during one of its memorable Early Friday occasions. A couple of art students including Timothy Leibrandt, were sitting at a window cubicle drinking. Gael attempted to engage them in conversation and they started passing remarks, which at first appeared to be nothing more than stupid drunken humour. We ignored them, and I wasn’t about to get involved in what was presumably a couple of words said off the cuff and with little meaning.”
This is not all that surprising considering the subject matter of Young’s recent work, which commentator Carl Collison has taken to task for being the work of a truly sick mind.
How Ed can win against Satan (Just an example of the many Ed Young Satan sites around the globe, try searching with terms Ed Young and Satan, you’ll be surprised. Young’s name has been linked to Old Nick since the very beginning.)