I'd like to introduce you the artwork of Purvis Young. I'm still familiarizing myself with his work, but what I have seen is impressive. His bio is worth reading as well--like most outrageously talented artists, he has been through some hard times. Currently, he's awaiting a multiple organ transplant.
He has lived in Overtown, Miami's black ghetto, his entire life. Young summarized his artwork by saying, "I paint what I sees…I paint the problems of the world."
Purvis paints on anything. Often, he found himself unable to afford canvas, so he'd paint on cardboard, refrigerators, basically anything with a flat surface. There's something destitute but hopeful in all of the works I've seen so far. His art is inviting, beautiful, and very easy to connect with. He longs for freedom, influenced heavily by a three year stint in prison for armed robbery when he was a young man.
"When I was in my cell one night I woke up and the angels came to me and I told ‘em, you know, hey man this is not my life – and they said they were gonna make a way for me you know…”
By every appearance, they kept their promise.
If you're in New York City, you can see a large collection of his work at Hospitality Photography . Click the link for all of their contact information. Take fifteen minutes and discover him for yourself. I'm glad I did.