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Purvis Young at Art Miami 2021

Burgess Modern + Contemporary is proud to showcase work by Miami Artist, Purvis Young at Art Miami 2021, along with Jedd Novatt, Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, David Salle, Tom Wesselmann, Roberto Matta, Miss Bugs, and Gabriel Delgado.



Purvis Young (1943 - 2010)

The Police and the Protesters, Circa 1993

Paint on wood panel

23 x 24 in

DM for acquisition

Purvis Young is among the most important self-taught artists to have emerged from the Outsider Art movement. Young transcended the labels of “Outsider” and “Self-Taught” and is today considered one of the forefathers of Street Art. His work is collected by over 60 museums including the Museum of Modern Art, NY, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco and shown at influential art fairs around the world. He was born in Miami’s Liberty City and grew up on the streets of Overtown, Miami.

Young, a Black American born in Florida, lived through Miami’s 1960s race riots, was personally affected by the Civil Rights Movement, and the embodiments of the Black Power struggle. As an artist and as a citizen, he along with others in Miami, had major grievances, including deplorable housing conditions, economic exploitations, bleak employment prospects, racial discriminations, and poor police-community relations. Young was an artist living in a nation of unrest. He saw daily inequalities against the minority populations in the greater Miami area, as well as the nation. Young witnessed his Overtown, Florida neighborhood transform from a thriving community of black-owned businesses to a deteriorated economic blunder, courtesy of unfair wealth distribution attempts, and a misguided transportation and highway infrastructure. These problems, along with other municipal influences, lead to what he saw as inescapable inner-city deterioration. Heavily influenced by such deplorable circumstances, Young’s artwork, none the less, cuddled and caressed the destructive fodder and drew inspiration from the jaundiced viciousness. Protests, riots, unwed pregnant ladies, jail scenes, immigrants, angels, and Saints all play pivotal roles in Young’s visual portrayals of his immediate surroundings.

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