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In 1978 a seventy-year-old black farm worker in rural Glascock County, Georgia, received what he believed to be a call from God. Though unable to read or write, J. B. Murray began to draw and paint flowing abstractions under what he understood to be the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Over the next ten years, Murray created paintings of ghostly figures and elogated shapes that represented "the people what is living like God don't exist." By the time of his death in 1988, Murray's work had been shown in art galleries all over the world, from Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles to London and Tokyo.
How an illiterate farm worker in rural Georgia rose to become an artist of international acclaim is the story of Mary Padgelek's In the Hand of the Holy Spirit: The Visionary Art of J. B. Murray. Padgelek tells Murray's fascinating story and analyzes his art and spiritual message. Throughout history the visionary artist has sought to offer a glimpse of the eternal in the midst of a temporal world. This book unveils the symbols, impetus, and meaning of Murray's art. Padgelek shows how this fascinating folk artist expressed his perceptions of eternity and offered a redemptive metaphor for spiritual healing, regeneration, and ultimate salvation.
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