NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Thursday night, a 13-year-old art prodigy was having his first art gallery show in Brooklyn.
He has gained the attention of athletes and celebrities, but as CBS2’s Cindy Hsu found out, he’s using his talent to help kids fight bullying.READ MORE: Juneteenth Celebrations Across New York City Take On New Meaning In 2021
Videos of Tyler Gordon painting are all over social media. He has become so popular, stars like Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Durant are among his fans. What’s even more amazing about this 13-year-old is that he started painting when he was 10. His mother, who is also an artist, was blown away.
“Oh my gosh, like what is happening right now? And then he just looked at me and smiled and he said, ‘I told you I can do it,'” said Nicole Kindle, Tyler’s mother.
Tyler was born deaf and didn’t speak until he was 5. At 6 he had surgery that allowed him to hear in one ear, but after the operation he began to stutter.
“Sometimes at school I get bullied, so when I come home I release all that anger to a canvas,” Tyler said.
His paintings use to sell for $10, but with all the attention they now go for about $2,000 each. And along with the celebrity pieces, he has a series on anti-bullying and is working on creating a foundation called “Tongue Tyed,” to help other kids with speech impediments deal with bullies and get the services they need.READ MORE: Man Allegedly Armed With Taser, Large Knife Arrested At Washington Square Park
“That’s his mission, is to help these kids get over the bullying and to help them find their voice,” Kindle said.
Tyler paints four times a day and finishes each piece in 30 minutes. He’s had no training, but says he’s always watched his mom paint and now they like to joke about who’s more talented.
“She thinks she’s better than me,” Tyler said, adding with a smile when asked if he’s actually better, “Yes.”
Along with his great sense of humor, he has an important message for any other kids who are dealing with bullies.
“I’ll tell them to not let bullies get them down and just to be who you are,” Tyler said.
And that there are no limits.MORE NEWS: NYPD Detective Injured In 2017 Vehicular Attack Honored At Islanders Game
Tyler is currently at his first gallery opening, at Gloria Gail Gallery in Williamsburg. His show runs through Sunday.