As if you didn’t know, art has been in Kanye West’s life for as long as he’s been able to talk about it. The rapper/producer/overall creative was enrolled at Chicago’s Hyde Park Art Academy at the age of 4, and of course, dropped out of Chi-Town’s American Academy of Art, where he was studying to receive his B.F.A.
His decision paid off, clearly.
On a recent episode of Antiques Roadshow, the Jesus Is King emcee’s art portfolio from when he was a student at Polaris High School was featured, and pop culture memorabilia collector Laura Woolley appraised it for quite the pretty penny. The exhibitor received the art from a man claiming to be married to Yeezy’s cousin, who said he acquired the collection about one year after West’s mother Donda tragically passed away.
“I think what really attracted me to these pieces is that a lot of people are probably not aware of how talented he is as an artist outside of his music career,” Woolley explained of her selections. “I think these pieces demonstrate an extraordinary facility as an artist, and I selected this grouping because it shows the different mediums he was working in.”
The pieces include an original ‘Ye scratchboard piece, drawings made with graphite (pencil), and a gouache painting. A flyer that accompanies his pieces listed prices ranging from $12 to $30—now, given his superstar status, they could potentially sell from anywhere between $16,000 and $23,000 if they were to go to auction.
“...We see the values rise and fall with the popularity of the celebrity,” Woolley said. “To have early pieces like this from someone who really will be an important cultural figure of our time, I think is really fantastic.”
Alexa, play “Amazing” by Kanye West.