NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A young artist in New York City is sharing his work in celebration of Black History Month.
14-year-old Tyler Gordon found painting eased the pain of being bullied. Now, his work has a national following, which includes Vice President Kamala Harris.
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CBS2’s Cindy Hsu first met Tyler in 2019, when he was just 13 and his incredible artwork was going viral.
Celebrities from Janet Jackson to J-Lo, A-Rod and Kevin Durant are among his fans.
Tyler has no formal art training and painted his first portrait at 10 years old. But his strength is as impressive as his artwork.
Tyler was born deaf and couldn’t speak until he was five. At 6, he had surgery that allowed him to hear in one year. But after the operation, he began to stutter.
“Sometimes at school I get bullied. So when I come home, I harness all that anger into a canvas,” he told Hsu.
Three months ago, Tyler decided to paint then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris near the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, where he’s from. When Harris saw the video on social media, she gave him a call.
“Hi, I’m calling to speak to the artist known as Tye,” she said. “People you’ll never meet are going to be touched by the work you do. So tell me, how are you doing?”
“I’m doing fine now that you called!” he replied.
Hsu caught up with Tyler this week in Tribeca to check on his outdoor art exhibition called the “Icon Collection” to celebrate Black History Month.
He was also commissioned to paint NBA Legend Lebron James for the Time Magazine 2020 Athlete of the Year cover.
Tyler’s mother, Nicole, said she’s most proud that her son is so humble, kind hearted and a role model.
“I think it’s a dream come true for a lot of people — not only for me, not only for him — to see that there are still African American kids that want to make a difference,” she said.
Tyler said he has a simple dream.
“My dream is just to inspire other people to use their talent to change the world,” he said.
We’re going to see a lot of Tyler in the future. He has a book coming out, a cartoon, and his own clothing line.
His outdoor exhibition runs through March at 200 Hudson Street.