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Kadir Nelson is an award-winning American artist whose works have been exhibited in major national and international publications, institutions, art galleries, and museums. Nelson earned a Bachelor’s degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and has since created paintings for a host of distinguished clients including Sports Illustrated, The Coca-Cola Company, The United States Postal Service, Major League Baseball, and Dreamworks SKG where he worked as a visual development artist creating concept artwork for feature films, “Amistad”, and “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron”. Many of Nelson’s paintings are in the collections of notable institutions and public collections, including the U.S. House of Representatives and the National Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as in the private collections of actors, professional athletes, and musicians. Nelson has also gained acclaim for the artwork he has contributed to several NYT Best-selling picture books including his authorial debut, “WE ARE THE SHIP: The Story of Negro League Baseball”, winner of the Coretta Scott King and Robert F. Sibert Awards, and was published by Disney/Hyperion in the spring of 2008. Currently, Nelson’s cover artwork is featured on the album “MICHAEL”, by the late pop singer icon Michael Jackson, Jackson’s first posthumous album release. Nelson’s upcoming literary effort, “HEART AND SOUL: The Story of America and African-Americans,” will be published by HarperCollins in the fall of 2011.

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Gorée – mixed media

Inspired by the transatlantic African slave trade, Nelson combines oil paint, sand, shells and sea stars in a moving portrait of a\captured African awaiting sale on the beach of Gorée Island, Senegal, West Africa.

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Trouble Man (Marvin Gaye) – oil

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Soul singer extraordinaire, Marvin Gaye, the Trouble Man. While feeling full of anguish and despair, the inspired singer looks skyward for divine guidance. A heavenly light illuminates Marvin’s head and torso, while the lower half of his body is covered in shadows, symbolizing Marvin’s daily struggle between heaven and hell. A stormy sky looms in the background while seven birds, the ever-present spirit of God, peacefully negotiate the sou

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Trane (Coltrane) – 36″ x 36″ – oil

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Banjar – 48″ x 48″ – oil

Sitting on a tree stump in front of his humble abode, a could-be slave, or former slave plays a tune on his trusty banjar (banjo). The banjo is an instrument which is native to Africa, and was brought to the Americas along with African people during the middle passage.

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Grandpop – 24″ x 30″ – oil

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Maasai Headdress – 24″ x 30″ – oil

From “The Africa Series,” by Kadir Nelson.

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Angel – oil

This angelic warrior of God sits atop a moonlit cliff, staring downward through a sea of clouds, at the toilsome earth below him, lovingly protecting its inhabitants.

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High Noon – 36″ x 48″ – oil
It is high noon on Main Street of any given mid 1800’s western town. Dust fills the air and five well armed gunmen stare you down. The deputy stands center, while his four hired hands await your next move. Only a prayer stands between you and the seven guns of this fervent five.

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The Rucker – 30″ x 42″ – oil

On a hot summer night in the heart of Harlem, NY, a tiny basketball court is crowded with enthusiastic fans who have gathered to witness street baskeball’s elite go head to head in heightened competition. Commissioned for Vibe Magazine’s first illustration issue, “The Rucker” depicts basketball action at Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park.

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Street Ballers – oil

In this companion piece to ‘City Heights’, five young guns cool down after a day of dominating the basketball court.

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Summertime Groove – Oil on Canvas    sold

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36″ x 36″

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Next Five – 24″ x 24″ – oil

Who got next? This eager group of street ballers does as they gather on the sidelines in anticipation of playing the next game of hoops.

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Right Wing – 18″ x 24″ – oil

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Commissioned by Nike for use on a tee shirt. Unused.

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Green Beans – 30″ x 40″ – oil

From a new series by Kadir Nelson called “The African-American” series, the artist pays homage to the African men and women cast into slavery bringing with them age-old African traditions and wisdom passed down from generation to generation. Here, the age old ritual of snapping green beans and readying them for last meal of the day is demonstrated by a woman proudly sitting on the

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Fulani III – 12″ x 12″ – oil

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The Rock – 30″ x 40″ – oil
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With a firm grasp of “The Rock”, b-ball slang for “basketball”, the confident gaze of this rugged street baller warns us of the ill-fated basketball hoop that remains on a deserted basketball court.

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Rán – oil and assemblage on wood    sold
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From the “Middle Passage” series by Kadir Nelson
16″ x 20″

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Homage to the Tuskegee Airmen – 36″ x 48″ – oil
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Commissioned for store displays featuring new line of limited edition sneakers inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen.

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Day Dream – oil

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Humility – 30″ x 40″ – oil

The tranquility and overwhelming presence of the spirit of God humbles even the greatest of men. In this highly emotional and subtle work by Kadir Nelson, the spirit of God, represented by the natural elements (earth, wind and sea) surrounds a man in his most natural state. The fire in his heart is calmed by the vastness of God’s earth. A circling flock of birds above represent his spirit

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Cabernet – oil

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Air – oil

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Africa – oil

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Cotton – oil

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Fulani II – oil

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Dinka Woman – oil, beads and burlap

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Maasai – 12″ x 12″ – oil

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From “The Africa Series,” by Kadir Nelson.

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Karo – 22″ x 22″ – oil

From “The Africa Series,” by Kadir Nelson

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Dinka – oil and sand

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Wadobe – 24″ x 24″ – oil

From “The Africa Series,” by Kadir Nelson.

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NFL Street – 24″ x 36″ – oil
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Electronic Arts introduces the first video game featuring a new brand of football. Street football. Jam packed with flashy play style, real motion simulation and great music. Kadir Nelson’s artwork is featured on the front and back covers of the package. On the cover, Ricky Williams avoids being tackled by Shannon Sharpe and Barry Sanders.

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Junkyard Moses – 24″ x 48″ – oil
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Born into the jagged confines of A junkyard for one purpose, to play the game of football. Armed with nothing other than scraps of metal, hubcaps, bowls, chains and discarted kitchen ware, they form a football from scrap metal and begin to play the game of junkyard football. After a hand-off from the quarterback, the line parts like the Red Sea and the half back runs for a touchdown.

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Venus – mixed media    sold
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Inspired by the transatlantic slave trade, using oil paint and cowrie shells, Nelson paints a young Mende woman who stands alone after being readied for the auction block. The cowrie shells are symbolic of currency.

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NFL Street2 – 30″ x 40″ – oil

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Hamar – 12″ x 12″ – oil

From “The Africa Series” by Kadir Nelson. Hamar women, from southern Ethopia, apply red ochre and animal fat to their hair and fashion it into long tiny braids. They wear garments made of animal hides, ornamented with strands of beads and rows of cowrie shells.

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Drum Majors – 24″ x 48″ – oil

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Emancipation – oil

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From the ashes of slavery rises the hope of the future of the New African. The old African hangs from an oak tree, bound, staked and crucified, tortured, yet strengthened by his historical role as a subhuman being which was forced upon him by racial slavery. Yet his sacrifice creates a path through which his descendants may travel with the assistance of a divine spirit (symbolized by the presence of

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Morning Patrol – 36″ x 48″ – oil
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Third in a series of western paintings by Kadir Nelson, “Morning Patrol” pays homage to the African American soldiers who, after the end of the Civil War, were stationed in the west to protect mail routes, Pacific Railroad workers and payroll wagons, string miles of telegraph wire, build and maintain forts, and establish law and order in a vast area of outlaws, Mexican Revolutionaries and raiding

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Alex Rodriguez – 16″ x 22″ – oil
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Commissioned for 2002 MLB All-Star Game program cover

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Ricky Davis And Friends – 30″ x 40″ – oil
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Professional basketball player, Ricky Davis, poses with two of his three best friends–his white pit bulls. He sits center court atop a basketball, as if it were a throne flanked by his his armed, ahem…guards.

 

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Kadir Nelson
Inspired by Manhattan’s famous West 4th basketball court, a late afternoon’s street basketball game ends with a powerfull slam dunk.

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Beyond Here – oil

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Kiowa Dawn – oil

At dawn, the sun slowly rises over the tall grass of the Great Plains. A young negro Kiowa girl cautiously stares into the viewer’s eyes, silent, curious, and unaware of her beauty.

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Somali – oil

From “The Africa Series” by Kadir Nelson. Somali girls wear their long hair tightly braided and loosened towards the bottom. Amber prayer bead necklaces thought to be from the Baltic Sea are worn around the neck, some say for its healing properties.

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Randy Johnson – 16″ x 22″ – oil

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A New Guinness World Record! The Largest Poster in the World.

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FIGURE X by Artist Kadir Nelson
FIGURE X
FIGURE IX by Artist Kadir Nelson
FIGURE IX
FIGURE VIII by Artist Kadir Nelson
FIGURE VIII
FIGURE VII by Artist Kadir Nelson
FIGURE VII
FIGURE VI by Artist Kadir Nelson
FIGURE VI
FIGURE V by Artist Kadir Nelson
FIGURE V
FIGURE IV by Artist Kadir Nelson
FIGURE IV
FIGURE III by Artist Kadir Nelson
FIGURE III
TENNIS PLAYER by Artist Kadir Nelson
TENNIS PLAY

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Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson is an award-winning African American artist, illustrator and author. His work is focused on African American culture and history.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Early life

Nelson was born in Washington D.C., attended Crawford High School in San Diego, California[1], and graduated from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.[2]

[edit] Illustration work

Nelson has done illustration work for Sports Illustrated, Coca-Cola,[3] The New York Times, Major League Baseball, and the United States Postal Service,[4] among others.

[edit] Exhibitions

Nelson has had exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States and the world, including the Museum of Tolerance[5] and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences[citation needed] in Los Angeles, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History[citation needed] in Detroit, the Anacostia Museum[citation needed] in Washington, D.C., the Society of Illustrators[6] and the Studio Museum in Harlem[citation needed] in New York, the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery[citation needed] in Bristol, England, The Yokohama Citizens’ Gallery[citation needed] in Yokohama, Japan and the Tijuana Cultural Center[citation needed] in Tijuana, Mexico.

[edit] Collections

His work is in the collections of the United States House of Representatives, the United States Postal Service, the United States Sports Academy, the International Olympic Committee, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.[7]

[edit] Film and television work

Nelson was a concept artist for the film Amistad, and worked on visual development for the animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.[8] His paintings have decorated the sets of television sitcoms “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “The Jamie Foxx Show,” as well as feature films Friday, Set It Off and The Beauty Shop.[citation needed]

[edit] Children’s book illustration

Nelson has collaborated in creating children’s books with several authors, including Ntozake Shange; children’s book authors Donna Jo Napoli, Nikki Grimes and Carole Boston Weatherford; director Spike Lee; and actors Debbie Allen and Will Smith.

In 2009, he published Change Has Come, with illuminated quotations from President Barack Obama.

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Book awards

Nelson is a two-time Caldecott Honor Award winner, and 2008 winner of the CASEY Award for best baseball book, We Are The Ship.[24] He is the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Author Award and the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for his book We Are the Ship in 2009.[25] He received an NAACP Image Award for the book Just the Two of Us.

[edit] Album cover art

Nelson created the mural used as cover art for Michael Jackson‘s posthumous 2010 album Michael

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External links

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  1. YouTube – “Kadir Nelson: We Are the Ship”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1OqigCq8H45 min – 24 Mar 2008 – Uploaded by BBCWorldNewsAmerica
    For many decades, baseball – like a lot of activities in the United States – was segregated along racial lines.
  2. YouTube – Meet the Illustrator: Kadir Nelson

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0irzICuorQ12 min – 23 Sep 2010 – Uploaded by adlit
    Kadir Nelson is a naturally gifted artist whose extraordinary talent continues to develop and be discovered. Before the age of 30,
  3. Reading Rockets: A video interview with Kadir Nelson

    Kadir Nelson is a naturally gifted artist whose extraordinary talent continues to develop and be discovered. Before the age of 30, Nelson had already

  4. Kadir Nelson African American Artist

    http://www.thecollectionshop.com/Kadir_Nelson_Art_Collection.asp

    Art dealer features African American Art and the art of Kadir Nelson. Shop for paintings and view photos of African American Artist Kadir Nelson art work.

  5. Interview with Kadir Nelson | Interviews and more | TitleTales | A

    bwibooks.com/articles/kadirnelson.php

    Kadir Nelson began drawing at the age of three and painting at age ten. He would later submit his paintings to art competitions and win an art scholarship

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  1. Here

  1. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    spike.com55 sec – 6 Jan 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson

  2. Change Has Come: Kadir Nelson

    metacafe.com2 min – 19 Jan 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson
  3. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    spike.com6 Jan 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson
  4. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    vimeo.com5 Jan 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson
  5. Sean Gibson & Kadir Nelson Interview on espn

    youtube.com6 min – 5 Mar 2008 – Uploaded by qualitymedia
    Sean Gibson & Kadir Nelson Interview on espn the pulse
  6. Kadir Nelson: Change Has Come

    video.app.msn.com56 sec – 13 Mar 2011
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson, accompanied by
  7. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    dailymotion.com55 sec – 5 Jan 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson
  8. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    viddler.com55 sec – 5 Jan 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson
  9. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    trailerspy.com56 sec – 1 May 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson

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  1. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    blinkx.com1 min – 5 Jan 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson

  2. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    ma-tvideo.france2.fr59 sec – 5 Jan 2009
    Durée : 55 | 20 vues | 0/10 The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award
  3. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    dailymotion.virgilio.it55 sec – 5 Jan 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson
  4. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    video.yahoo.com56 sec – 5 Jan 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson
  5. Kadir Nelson

    fliiby.com24 Apr 2009
    Watch author Kadir Nelson discuss his new book All God 039 s Critterrs
  6. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    uk.video.yahoo.com56 sec – 13 May 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson
  7. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    metacafe.com55 sec – 5 Jan 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson
  8. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    video.metrofrance.com6 Jan 2009
    video Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer – The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely
  9. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    kewego.com59 sec – 5 Jan 2009
    Duration: 55 | 22 views | 0/10 The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award
  10. Change Has Come Kadir Nelson Book Trailer

    veoh.com18 Feb 2009
    The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson

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