Remembrance To Purvis Young


By Miami Art Scene


Artopia will honor Purvis Young during a remembrance event coinciding with the 4 year anniversary of the artist’s passing. Artopia served as a studio for Purvis Young. Young was one of the most prolific artists of our time, he was the catalyst of Miami’s art scene paving the way for Miami to become one of the world’s greatest art cities.

‘The Remembrance of Purvis Young’ will highlight Young’s career, which spans more than four decades. Pervis Young was born on February 4, 1943 and died on April 20, 2010. He was an American artist born in Liberty City, Florida, then moving to the Overtown neighborhood of Miami. Young’s work was often a blend of collage, constructed materials and painting, utilizing found objects and discarded materials to create his masterpieces.

Artopia is the oldest art gallery in Miami with more than 30 years in Wynwood. The collection at Artopia is comprised of artwork by a wide array of artists from the US, Latin America, Cuban masters to contemporary emerging painters and sculptors. Artopia has forged a new framework for understanding the momentous changes in Miami’s cultural life over the years. The gallery promotes cultural development in the art community by supporting innovative visual art projects and cultivating the early careers of many emerging artists, bringing them to the forefront of the art world.


Purvis Young

A self-taught artist, Young gained recognition quickly with a collectors’ following. Artopia Art Center showcases many of Young’s works and will pay homage to the artist’s memory with their resident artists and gallery patrons during the April 25th ‘Remembrance of Purvis Young’ event. Young’s family will be attending along with Artopia’s well-known resident artists Joe Chirichigno, Bayunga Kialeuka and Mark Cherry, with a special tribute by Artopia’s rising art star Masplata. Guests will have the opportunity to enter a raffle for an authentic Purvis Young art piece, and the gallery will be offering affordable artwork for sale.


Drawing inspiration from the sights, colors and people of his native Panama, visual artist Alfonso Rendón—artistically known as “Masplata”– unearths a world of rare beauty onto the public eye. Starting from the premise that “colors, like words, are basic units of meaning that can convey messages when combined,” Rendón has created an eclectic body of work and styles that are as diverse as language itself.


From his signature traces—that rival the sharpness and precision of computer graphics—to his ethereal brushstrokes in watercolor and the bold richness of his oil-paintings, his styles attest to the ever-expanding nature of his workmanship. He doesn’t shy away from radical departures to techniques he’s mastered. Or even styles that he has carefully nurtured over the years. Rather he sees departure from the comfort of the “known,” as the birth post of potentialities “unknown.” For this commitment to let medium, materials, and circumstances, both internal and external, guide his creative process blindly, he sets himself apart artistically.

“The unknown has always drawn me from an early age,” he admits. “But rather than see it as ‘a theme to explore through art’, I see it as the driving force that compels me to follow its lead where it will. Like a deep-sea diver that takes the plunge on faith, Rendón approaches art-making with the fullest aperture of spirit. He never has an agenda when starting out a piece and he usually ignores the content and meaning of what his hands are creating until completion. “I don’t impose meaning, but rather let the unique backgrounds of my audiences suggest the meaning to their eyes.”

Mark Cherry

Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1949, artist Mark Cherry moved to Miami in 1984 where he established a reputation for work that reflects a fertile imagination and bold illumination. Essentially self-taught, he embraces painting as a means of expressing an idealized world view of varied possibilities. His paintings often deal with emotional realities, as reflected through daring and intriguing visual possibilities. His bold strokes and colorful palette remind many of DuBuffet and Art Brut, but Cherry has also created his own signature style that South Florida art lovers have come to recognize and enjoy.

Joe Chirichigno


Joe Chirichignowhite_shirt_detail

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Artopia Collage Pic

Artopia Art Center is located at 1753 NE 2nd Avenue, nestled in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. Artopia’s staff of industry experts are available to visitors during gallery hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 7pm. Visit: Artopia Art Center.

Media Contact: Kat Wagner