Florida (born 1943)
"Purvis Young first gained attention as an artist more than 25 years ago, when he began making large mural-style paintings on plywood nailed to the exteriors of abandoned buildings in the Overtown ghetto where he has spent most of his life. In a fashion characteristic of his work, the paintings are on scrap wood panels and other flat, rectangular materials that Young salvages from the streets. These surfaces are particularly appropriate for his cityscapes, which depict the same urban settings where he finds these damaged and discarded materials. He uses them in such a way that they can be seen as metaphors for the human lives that are wasted in such economically impoverished inner-city environments - tossed aside by society and yet capable of being reclaimed and restored, just as Young transforms and renews the castoffs from which he makes his art.
Young has been recognized as one of the masters of this broadly defined nonacademic genre. His work possesses a singularly raw form of aesthetic power and is highly relevant to some of today's most pressing social problems. The most recent measure of Young's status within the art world is a major exhibition titled, Self-Taught Artists of the 20th Century: An American Anthology. Young is one of only four living artists represented in this show."
George Jacobs Self-Taught Art
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