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Zulu Warriors and Wild Horses

Even a couple of years ago, when he was laid up in a hospital bed with a kidney ailment, Purvis Young never quit railing against the injustices that fueled his work. In the summer of 2008, Miami’s best-known artist told New Times that the presidential primaries were providing fertile fodder for a new body of work. “Sitting in the hospital bed watching all the news about the upcoming election has been keeping me up-to-date as these political events unfold — all the wiles and doublespeak and backstabbing is going to inform my work when I am back painting,” Young declared. Born and raised in Overtown, Purvis Young began painting after serving a three-year prison sentence for burglary in his early 20s. He soon became known for raw, evocative scenes of angels, Zulu warriors, railroad tracks, and wild horses depicted on termite-riddled wood, rotting doors, scraps of metal, and other urban detritus. This past April, Young, who was an urban storyteller without peer, died at age 67, and now he’s the subject of a modest retrospective at Miami Art Museum running through November 7.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Aug. 12. Continues through Nov. 7, 2010


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