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Daniel Pressley

Wasamasaw, South Carolina 1918

New York, New York 1971

Luce Artist Biography

Daniel Pressley was an African American whose family had a farm in South Carolina. When he was still quite young, his father was shot by a white neighbor. Shortly after, his mother also died and the brothers and sisters moved to Ohio. Pressley lived in New York City during the 1960s, where he started to carve and paint images that dealt with his experiences as a black man in Harlem. Even though he experienced firsthand the effects of racism, drug abuse, and poverty, his paintings often show spontaneous moments of joyous singing and dancing. (Shari Cavin, "Daniel Pressley, Sweet and Bitter Streets," 1999, Diggs Gallery, Winston Salem State University)