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Kanye West Really Is An Artistic Genius, High School Art Appraised At Over $20K On 'Antiques Roadshow'

Mega/Antiques Roadshow PBS
By Jeff Mazzeo

Turns out Kanye West wasn't joking when he said he was "the most impactful artist of our generation," because a popular TV show just proved it.

The "Closed On Sunday" rapper's high school art portfolio was featured on a recent episode of the iconic PBS show, "Antiques Roadshow." Several paintings and drawings, done by a 17-year-old West at the Polaris High School in Chicago, were appraised to be worth anywhere between $16,000 to $23,000!

The gentleman who brought the art collection said he was the husband of Kanye's first cousin. “When Kanye’s mother passed away in 2007, my husband received them as part of the estate about a year after she passed.”

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The Dude Has Serious Art Skills

Antiques Roadshow PBS

Host Laura Woolley selected a few impressive pieces to display on the show because the collection was so extensive. She handpicked the pieces to show what a talented artist the young Kanye was and raved about his range and skill.

“We selected just a few to show, but you have a great number of them," Woolley said. "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. 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.”

"They're all exceptionally well-done," she exclaimed.

About the Artist

Antiques Roadshow PBS

One of the most interesting parts of the display was the "About the Artist" flyer from one of Kanye's first art shows.

“I have to say he has a very impressive resume having attended the Hyde Park Art Academy at age 4, the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago State University, Nanjing University in the People’s Republic of China,” the host said.

Woolley was very impressed that he had attended so many prestigious schools but the age of 17 but she said the end of the flyer was her favorite part.

“It says that he, in the fall, will begin his studies to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and continue to pursue a career as a music producer as well. That’s kind of an aside so we all know what happened, obviously music kind of took over.”

Worth Serious Cash

Antiques Roadshow PBS

The host explained that celeb art is a tricky thing because "the values kind of rise and fall along with the popularity of the celebrity.”

“I think despite the fact that some people might say that he’s a controversial figure with his opinions and his career, I don’t think anyone can deny the fact that he has extraordinary talent and I think that in time I would expect these to continue to appreciate,” Woolley said.

She continued her appraisal by saying that Kanye is an "important cultural figure of our time" before slapping price tags on each piece ranging from $2,000 to $8,000 for a total of around $20,000.

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