Kanye West’s Childhood Art Portfolio Valued At Over $15,000
Kanye West’s original artwork created during his sophomore year attending Polaris High School in Chicago is now valued at $16,000 to $23,000.
The discovery of West’s art collection is all thanks to his cousin’s husband, who featured the pieces on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow.
In April 2019, West’s first cousin’s husband brought a large collection of the rapper’s work for collectibles expert Laura Woolley to appraise during the filming of the PBS series at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.
The five works highlighted included pieces done with graphite, gouache and scratchboard techniques; the collection also featured a flyer for West’s first known art showing from 1995.
“This flyer is really interesting because it gives the full background of his entire artistic training up until that point,” says Woolley.
Woolley then notes that by age 17, when West was at the Polaris School, he had “already been studying at these extraordinary artistic institutions, and my favorite part of this flyer is actually the very end” ― where there’s a passing reference to his work in music “as well.”
However, Woolley offered a measured appraisal, telling West’s cousin-in-law that while the rapper is “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.”
“To have early pieces like this from someone who really will be an important cultural figure of our time I think is really fantastic,” she says.
Woolley valued the largest piece at about $6,000 to $8,000 and other smaller works ranging from $2,000 to $7,000 each.
“Altogether, just for this grouping, $16,000 to $23,000 at auction,” she says.