b. 1978, Welkom
Lives and works in Cape Town

With an emphasis on conceptualism, Ed Young is a master of subversion and not afraid to take risks. He is best known for his various irreverent and, at times deliberately, politically incorrect and provocative pieces. Refraining from using ‘traditional’ media, Young’s practice remains challenging and varied. This may (or may not) include; found objects, text based works, video, performances, neon-lights, installations and sculpture – and sometimes painting.


Ed Young holds a Masters Degree in Fine Art from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Since 2003, Young has presented solo exhibitions in Cape Town, Durban, Miami, Zurich and Basel.

Most recently, Young presented his solo exhibition, Bad Gallerist, at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town. He also recently participated in index artists in residence scholarship / Freiraum-Stipendium artist’s residency programme in Zurich, Switzerland. Young was also featured in Ashraf Jamal’s recent book, In the World: Essays on Contemporary South African Art.

In 2017, Young’s solo presentation at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, cash or card, debuted the latest in his series of hyper-real miniature self-portrait sculptures, entitled COMME des FUCKDOWN. In 2016, Ed Young was invited to present a site-specific installation as one of eight special projects for 2016 The ARMORY SHOW’s invitational Focus: African Perspectives section, curated by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba. His work forms part of the Iziko South African National Gallery permanent collection, in Cape Town, South Africa; the Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA) collection, in Johannesburg, South Africa; as well as the Luciano Benetton Collection, in Treviso, Italy.

In 2015 Young’s work was included in KULTURPALAST in Berlin, Germany and Analogue Eye – Video Art Africa at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa which later travelled to the Wiener Festwochen in Vienna, Austria; in both 2015 and 2016 he was included in SMAC Gallery’s presentation at ARTISSIMA Fair in Turin, Italy. During 2014, Young participated in Brave New World…20 Years of Democracy at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa; in 2013, he presented a solo installation at VOLTA9 in Basel, Switzerland and was awarded the AiR Rote Fabrik Residency, facilitated by Pro Helvetia in Zurich, Switzerland in that same year. Young showed his video It’s Not Easy at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa in 2008; and, in addition, he exhibited in the Dada South? as well as 1910 to 2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective exhibitions at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Young’s most recent group exhibition include SMAC Gallery’s presentation at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair at Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), in Cape Town, South Africa in 2018.



Ed Young will be presenting a solo exhibition HERO at OPEN 24 HRS, Ground Floor, The Harrington, 50 Harrington Street, Cape Town.

Ed Young recently participated in index artists in residence scholarship / Freiraum-Stipendium artist’s-residency programme in Zurich, Switzerland in September and October this year.