Young's realist works reflect a tradition in American watercolor painting that stretches back to the 19th-century artists Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer and includes the 20th-century realist Andrew Wyeth. Young, who is white, began to focus on African Americans, especially children, in the 1980s. His works are characterized by a technical mastery of watercolor, a profound attention to detail and tonal relation, and a strong emotional empathy with his subjects. On the back of this work Young explained the subject: "Quenton, now 14 years old. The scar on his right cheek becoming more apparent. Scarred, not only figuratively but emotionally from his environment."
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