Artist: Purvis Young
Medium: Book of original drawings
Size: 11" x 9" x 3"
Year: Circa 1982
Condition: In the style of found art with an intentionally weathered appearance. Expected imperfections include heavy creasing, unfinished edges, and marks and staining on the back.
Documentation: Includes a Certificate of Authenticity from the Purvis Young Foundation
This rare collection of original Purvis Young drawings has been hand-assembled into a book by the artist, transforming the individual works of art into an immersive artistic experience. Handling the book and turning the pages is an intimate, interactive experience with the art. The book contains 155 original Purvis Young drawings of various mediums including crayon, ink, and marker. In several places, Young includes the original pages that he sometimes embellishes with his own details. The individual compositions feature many of Purvis Young's most iconic symbols including trucks, trains, boats, and his unique figurative elements. The book also features annotations written by Young that provide some insight into the meaning of his works, including "Some people have a job" and "The fire is out." Many of the pages are individually signed and dated.
Purvis Young is well known for his use of unconventional materials and found objects including handmade frames and plywood canvases. The unique conceptualization of a handmade book fits perfectly into his creative process. The idea of found and handmade items serves as a tangible tie between Young and his community. The use of found and handmade items in Young's art has become a significant part of his signature style and a symbolic element of his background as a street artist.
This untitled book of original Purvis Young drawings includes a certificate of authenticity from the Purvis Young Foundation. As to be expected with street art, this piece is intentionally weathered and includes unfished edges, creasing, and irregular page sizes.
About Purvis Young
Self-taught artist from a poverty stricken neighborhood of Miami, Purvis Young transformed his fraught yet inspired life experience into a unique and compelling visual vocabulary. Through a range of powerful symbols, he articulated the struggles and myths of his heritage.
Drawing from a range of sources such as documentaries, art books, American history and spiritual folklore, Young crafted an immense visual language comprised of motifs such as white horses offering freedom, halos signifying angles, pregnant women with the hope of tomorrow, processions and incarceration, among others. Telling simple, yet powerful stories of everyday life, the artist expressed his community and ethnic background. Using found objects from his neighborhood, such as cardboard, discarded political signs, used paper, doors, plywood scraps, metal sheets, carpet remnants, he transformed these surfaces into richly colored and highly expressionist paintings. Although Young is often associated with Outsider Art, his style could best be described as "Magic realism."
In 2016, his life and work were the subject of a feature documentary entitled Purvis of Overtown. He was a recipient of the Artists/Fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and was included into the Florida Artist Hall of Fame in 2018. His work is found in the collections of the American Folk Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the High Museum of Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others.
The subjects of Purvis Young celebrated and historicized the neighborhood where he had spent his entire life. Even though his works chronicled struggle, they always contained an underlining hope for a better future.
Purvis Young was born in 1943 in Overtown neighborhood of Miami, Florida and died in 2010 in Miami. In 2015, almost 400 pieces of Young’s art were donated by The Bass Museum of Art to the permanent collection in the Black Archives History and research Foundation of South Florida located in the heart of Purvis’ hometown.*we will want to separate and list each image in this book individually.