Purvis Young sits back in a plush, overstuffed, second-hand chair, cracks open a tall can of beer, turns on a television nature show, and spears a pink chunk of spam with a plastic fork. Five minutes later, the TV is muted, he's pumping oldies through a radio, and painting his 50,000th original work. The prolific urban expressionist swipes a smooth curve of purple house paint across a wooden board that a friend found in a junk pile and brought to him on a bicycle. With a cheap hardware store paint brush, he delivers another masterful stroke, and continues working at a manic yet unhurried pace. It's 3 a.m. now, but by sunup, he's rendered a complete and lively Overtown street scene. There are dancing, big-hipped women, a flock of streetside angels, and many haloed figures moving joyfully through the city. The internationally collected master painter, self taught, with a heavy diet of Van Gogh and Picasso books from the public library, is truly in his element.
Feb. 6-25, 2013