Kanye West‘s childhood art could very well be hanging in a museum one day after an art collector reportedly acquired the whole lot.
According to Page Six, entrepreneur Vinoda Basnayake was so taken with the rapper’s teenage drawings and paintings after seeing them on an April 2020 episode of Antiques Roadshow that he made it his mission to track down the works of art for his own collection. A source who was with Basnayake when he picked up West’s work two weeks ago told the outlet, “Kanye’s cousin owned the trove, which was created by Kanye during his days as a student at Polaris School [in Chicago].” The collector can’t reveal how much he paid for the art because of a non-disclosure agreement, but when the portfolio was originally appraised on the PBS show it was valued at between 16,000 and $23,000.
The pieces in the collection were created in 1995 when West was just 17 years old and include works done in graphite, gouache on board, and scratchboard. “By age 17, he’s already been studying at these extraordinary artistic institutions,” the Antiques Roadshow appraiser Laura Woolley said in the episode, noting the rapper’s extensive academic background at places like the Hyde Park Art Academy, Art Institute of Chicago, Nanjing University in China, and the Polaris School for Individual Education. Woolley added, “I think these pieces demonstrate an extraordinary facility as an artist.”
West’s wife Kim Kardashian also recently reminded fans of the musician’s artistic gifts after the internet expressed extreme skepticism over the authenticity of a painting Kim claims was done by their seven-year-old daughter North. In response to the doubters, the reality star shared a photo of those same pieces of art that now reside in Basnayake’s personal collection, writing on Instagram Stories, “Throwback to some of her dad’s art work that he when he was kid,” with a DNA emoji implying that the artistic gene clearly runs in the family.
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