Purvis Young

Purvis Young
Sometimes I Get Emotion from the Game
early 1980s
Ballpoint and porous-point pen, on paper glued to found book.
12 1/4 x 17 3/4 xinches (31.1 x 45.1 cm) open
Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection and purchase on the Manley Family Fund.
© Purvis Young / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photography courtesy of Souls Grown Deep.

Young became known in the early 1970s for a monumental work of street art that he created in his hometown of Overtown, Miami. Inspired by Old Masters such as Rembrandt and El Greco, and by the activist art of the 1960s, Young created paintings and drawings on panel and found pieces of paper, as well as in books, like this one, which he filled with drawings of men playing basketball and football. As the book's title and imagery suggest, Young viewed sports as a space of freedom and release from the oppressive conditions that governed the lives of young Black men in Overtown. "My feeling was the world might get better if I put up my protests. Even if it didn't, it was just something I had to be doing," he said.

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