Yung Jake (born Jake Patterson) is an American artist and rapper. His work often explores new mediums and technologies, and spans across painting, sculpture, digital and internet art, video, music, apps, and products.[1][2] His first well known work was "Datamosh" (2011), which was shown at the Digital Salon of the Sundance Film Festival in 2013, and his most well known works are emoji portraits of celebrities.[3][4][5][6] He has directed music videos, including "H.G.T.V." for Pusha T, and worked on television shows for Adult Swim.[7][1] He frequently collaborates with artist and programmer Vince McKelvie.[3][6]

Yung Jake
EducationCalifornia Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, California
Known forPainting, sculpture, digital and internet art, video, music
Notable work"Datamosh" (2011)
"" (2012)
MovementInternet Art, New media art, Trap music

Early life and education


Yung Jake grew up in various locations including Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor in the United States as well as Bali and New Zealand. He attended Bridgehampton High School and graduated from California Institute of the Arts in 2012.[5][8]



Yung Jake is most well known for his emoji portraits, often of celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Leonardo DiCaprio, Willow Smith, and Kim Kardashian West. The portraits exist both as digital and physical works, and they have been shown, and sold, at various art fairs including Art Basel and Zona Maco.[5][8] In 2015 Yung Jake and Vince McKelvie created, a free online tool that allows anyone to create their own emoji portraits.[9]

He is represented by the Steve Turner gallery in Los Angeles, and the Tripoli Patterson gallery in Wainscott, New York.[10][11] His 2018 series of paintings titled "Hydration" were described as "glossy UV prints of almost comically amorphous water bottles on steel panels and furniture, adorned with brand logos, nostalgic cartoon characters, and raw elements of angsty tagging via stickers, spray paint, and etchings".[1] Of his art practice he said “I just try to have fun with everything. If I don’t enjoy doing it I don’t wanna do it” and "I think i do mad different things for my sanity. I can’t be stuck in a box just 'cause society makes it easy to do that."[12][2]

Yung Jake is known for conducting interviews via text message, which has been noted as an unconventional practice.[13][1][5][14]

As a rapper he has performed at Los Angele's Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sundance Institute's New Frontiers program, and South by Southwest. His song "Unfollow" (2014) was described as "somewhere between after-school special and sunshine acid fever-dream", and his rapping style has been compared to Lil' B.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d Stutz, Colin (2016-10-27). "Meet Yung Jake, the Artist Making Masterpieces Out of Emojis". W Magazine. Archived from the original on 2022-03-31. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  2. ^ a b Skelton, Eric (2018-07-23). "Tips for Creating on the Internet with Yung Jake". Complex. Archived from the original on 2018-07-24. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  3. ^ a b Miquela, Lil (2019-05-04). "LIL MIQUELA: YUNG JAKE IS THE DAVID BAILEY OF THE EMOJI GENERATION". Dazed Digital. Archived from the original on 2021-05-19. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  4. ^ "Yung Jake, Datamosh". Kadist. Archived from the original on 2021-04-22. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  5. ^ a b c d Trebay, Guy (2017-07-26). "Digital Artist Yung Jake Scores With Emoji Portraits". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2022-03-25. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  6. ^ a b Sinclair, Kamal (2013-04-30). "Yung Jake: Leading a Net-Native Generation of Storytellers -". Sundance Institute. Archived from the original on 2021-04-18. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  7. ^ Noisey, Staff (2016-10-12). "Watch Pusha T in a New Black and White Clip for Song "H.G.T.V."". Archived from the original on 2022-05-15. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  8. ^ a b Silver, Leigh (2015-06-03). "How Yung Jake Is Pioneering What It Means to Be an Artist Born on the Internet". Complex. Archived from the original on 2022-05-06. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  9. ^ Davidson, James (2015-01-20). "Rapper-artist Yung Jake inspires with lo-fi Emoji pop culture icon portraits..." We Heart. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  10. ^ "Yung Jake | Steve Turner". 2020-03-06. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  11. ^ "Tripoli Gallery". Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  12. ^ "Is Yung Jake The Internet's Artist? | HUMAN - YouTube". Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  13. ^ a b "How Yung Jake Is Pioneering What It Means to Be an Artist Born on the Internet". Complex. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
  14. ^ "Yung Jake isn't excited about NFTs. | Foundation". Retrieved 2022-05-15.