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What: "Baby Sports Image" artwork.
Artist: Kenneth Gatewood.
Price: $2,000 and up for originals.
Kenneth Gatewood, who grew up in South Central Los Angeles and is a 1978 graduate of Dorsey High, has been an artist almost his entire life. As a 6-year-old, he impressed his teachers with his illustrations of the human heart and other internal organs.
Gatewood studied art at Los Angeles Trade Tech College, where, he says, he honed his skills under instructor Mario Rudea and has since made a comfortable living practicing his craft. In 1993, he had an idea that has made him famous in the art world.
He was baby-sitting one of his 15 nephews, an infant, along with a baby playmate. He took a picture of the two, with one pointing a finger at the other. From that picture, he made a painting, putting his nephew in a Magic Johnson Laker uniform and his playmate in a Larry Bird Boston Celtic uniform.
He sold that painting for $25,000.
Since then, by photographing real baby models, he has created hundreds of what he calls "Baby Sports Image" paintings. One of the 1992 Olympic Dream team sold for $50,000.
One of his most recent paintings features Shaquille O'Neal and Yao Ming. The asking price for the original is $7,500. But Gatewood is working on getting it licensed, with hopes of selling prints for $45 at Staples Center.
-- Larry Stewart