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: Stepfather Arrested In Death Of 10-Year-Old Boy In Harlem Apartment Building
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: Despite More Sexual Harassment Accusers Coming Forward, Gov. Cuomo Says Again He Has No Plans To Resign
“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: Gov. Cuomo: Dining Capacity At Restaurants Outside New York City To Be Increased To 75% Starting March 19
Tyler is currently at his first gallery opening, at Gloria Gail Gallery in Williamsburg. His show runs through Sunday.