Purvis Young (1943–2010) [Urban Angels with Funeral and Cars], about 1990 Mixed media on wood, 48 x 48 in.
Purvis Young was one of those rare artists whose own truth and vision led him to create universal images of the human condition. That his depictions of the people and life in Overtown, a downtrodden section of Miami in the immediate aftermath of the Civil Rights Era, can be read as prescient emblems of today’s struggles for equality is nothing short of tragic. For Young however, there always remained hope for a better tomorrow in the face of a brutal today. Protestors turn into dancers, warriors become angels, and communities ravaged by civil unrest are united in solidarity. —Ted Holland, Artist Manager & Exhibition Coordinator, Hirschl & Adler Modern