14-year-old San Jose artist paints social issues, honors George Floyd

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – A soon to be 14-year-old San Jose boy has been named a 2020 Global Child Prodigy, one of only 100 children selected from around the world.

The young talent is a painter who has captured the images of celebrities and athletes but whose more recent work has turned to social issues.

KRON4’s Pam Moore talked with Tyler Gordon and his mother as he was finishing his personal tribute letter and art piece honoring George Floyd.

“Dear George, You don’t know me but I know you. You were a father, a son. You were a brother, you were a nephew, you were loved.” 

Tyler Gordon was moved by what happened to George Floyd and decided to put those emotions into his art.

“I’m scared, I’m confused. I don’t understand. I’m hurt and I just want to be with my mom. Is this my future?”

“When I was painting this I was kinda heartbroken because he didn’t serve what happened to him,” Gordon said.

The Floyd piece was not his first to confront social issues – Colin Kaepernick, the COVID-19 pandemic and last year, he painted what he called “My Worst Nightmare.”

“When he came to me with the idea to do the piece it broke my heart. Before that it was all celebrities and cartoons, stuff like that but when he came to me and said that I asked him why? He said you know, what if that happens to me?” Nicole Kindle said. 

Tyler’s mother Nicole Kindle, also paints. She says when he was very young, he was always watching as she worked on her artwork.

“I looked down the hall, he was 3 or 4-years-old laying on his tummy and he looked so happy,” Kindle said. 

“Painting helps me relax and it calms me. I do portraits. I like to capture the expressions in the face. That deep down feeling, it’s basically me enjoying the art and the people that see my art and they like it, that makes my day,” Tyler said. 

Moments that make his day like meeting actor Kevin Hart or last year in San Jose meeting J-Lo and A-Rod. 

Now, as he turns 14 and gets ready for high school, he teaches art classes on Instagram. 

Celebrates his already large body of work and his ‘Global Child Prodigy’ recognition but his young heart is still heavy about the events of the world.

“I’ll never forget. I’ll always remember the name, Mr. George Floyd… Love Tyler”

Tyler’s free art class is on his Instagram every Friday at noon.

This young prodigy turns 14 years old on June 24.

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