Purvis Young was born in 1943 in Miami; he passed away in April 2010, in the city of his birth.
His mother was from the Bahamas and encouraged his artistic talent from an early age. He began seriously painting around the age of 20 using collected objects from the ghetto streets and house paint. He covered the sides of abandoned buildings with his canvases and used his art to protest war, poverty and racial indifference. Working from a warehouse in his hometown, he painted compulsively and passionately. In the early seventies his work began to be recognized and collected, and in the following decades he gained an international reputation. Today he is called by some, the Picasso of the Ghetto.
Today his paintings hang in more than 60 galleries and museums nationwide and abroad; among them are the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the High Museum of Art, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Tampa Museum of Art, the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art, the Mennello Museum of American Art, and the NY Museum of Fine Arts.