Possession, 2001

“Possession” addresses the rich visual language of Purvis Young, one of today’s most recognized self-taught American artists. Young’s artistry continues to epitomize a phenomenon once described by the great Harlem Renaissance writer and Florida native Zora Neale Hurston in her anthropological classic, “Tell My Horse.” While traveling in Haiti and Jamaica in the 1930’s, Hurston participated in Vodou ceremonies where she saw people get possessed by African gods, called Loa. The gods would “ride” their devotees like horses, communing with them, giving them strength to survive poverty and oppression, telling them the secrets of herbs to treat ailments, commanding them to preserve the ancient rites and culture of their ancestors.

“Possession” builds on the legacy of two previous catalogues, “Purvis Young: Keeper of the Flame” and “Duality: A Convergent Voyage”

ISBN: 0-9717318-0-2