Knowledge Is KingRegular price $7,500.00
TMNK (aka The Me Nobody Knows, aka Scott Andre Patterson), 1968 - 2016
Knowledge Is King, 2007
Mixed media on panel
36 1/8 x 24 1/8 inches
Knowledge Is King is the painting that began the career of the street artist TMNK (1968 - 2016). In 2007, TMNK's friend was murdered. The artist's son asked him why he was crying, so he painted Knowledge Is King, incorporating the events of his friend's murder along with other layers from the artist's life journey.
TMNK at the time was a Vice President of an advertising firm in New York, but he didn't feel he was making an impact with his life, he felt that "Nobody Cares" (a common phrase that would appear in many of his street artworks), so he quit is career in the corporate world to fulfill his life as an artist.
TMNK would often sketch people's faces while riding on the subway in NYC, then give the sketches to his unsuspecting models. It made them smile, so it made him smile, the artist said. One day someone suggested that he sell his work on Ebay. This painting, Knowledge Is King, was the very first painting he sold online on Ebay to launch his career as an independent artist.
The following is a transcript of an email the artist sent to the seller telling her the story of the painting:
From: TMNK [email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 2:00 PM
Subject: Re: [Urban Editions] Knowledge is King
OMG!!! Well… YOU have a very…very Important painting…
When I… Frustrated as a once homeless now VP Director of Creative Services was trying to figure out… WTF I was going to do… I had my epiphany about building a better mousetrap, and the work ethic of my grandfather, and soooo. I began to sell my work on ebay… had this theory I was gonna put to the test…
This was the birth of NOBODY the street artist. The first painting I sold online… Well, it did not go as I had hoped… that is.. My first painting… the one YOU purchased sold for $29.00
Yes $29.00 I was… mortified, but then I said… wait… And there are some who work in fields all day and don’t get that. So I will keep using my GOD GIVEN TALENTS, and I am sure, that what I am meant to have will come.. I have often told people about that painting… As many had advised me agains [sic] selling on Ebay… and for just that reason…
But for me, I always KNEW the money would come, if I did my best, and showed, and shared my best.
YOU HAVE MADE MY DAY>>> Iam in Paris Right Now, I just returned From Switzerland….
I quit my Job in Advertising with a dream… To leave my son...A legacy of greatness. I wanted my son to have the same sort of headstart in life that the Rockefellers, Rothchilds and the like had.
I wanted to be a GREAT ARTIST…not simply a successful one..
I wanted little Poor Black, White, and Kids of all backgrounds who feel/felt small and marginalized to know they could make a difference… They call YOU worthless, like a penny with a whole [sic] in it… well Look what this NOBODY did!
My paintings that size , now sell for $5,000
I just sold a painting entitled Dance Like Beyonce, Strut like Oprah to the Ambassador Of British Virgin Islands for $20,000 Lord Im [sic] smiling soi [sic] big right now…
Too much too share…
And hold onto that painting until I am DEAD. ;-)
More information on the artist from tapinto.net:
In 2007, in response to the tragic murder of one of his friends, he began crafting messages to provoke discussion about the senseless inner city violence which had now become personal. A graffiti-like tag attributed to TMNK, "Nobody Care$" began to appear all over New York. A short time later he quit his job, walked away from his 6 figure salary, and began selling his art on ebay and the streets of Soho, where he began to draw the attention of curators and collectors from around the world. In 2010, He sold 42 of the 49 paintings from his Urban Derivatives Exhibition, his first solo show at Galerie Galleberg in Norway. Followed by appearances at Miami's Art Basel, then a 5,000 sq ft celebrity attended pop-up exhibition entitled Modern Urbanisims in New York, e(merge) Art Fair, and most recently Cheryl Hazan Contemporary Arts 11th annual Red Show.
TMNK's art was recently featured in Vibe and YRB Magazine, is in the permanent collection of the Fleming Museum in Vermont, and was selected for an exclusive line of t-shirts for apparel manufacture American Eagle Outfitters. TMNK was also one of the graffiti artists featured at MoMA's design and the Electric Eye Opening in 2008. With Solo Shows in New York, Italy, and Norway this so-called "nobody" has amassed an international following for his unique brand of intellectual urban contemporary art.
Artist Statement: I'm just a nobody who believed he was somebody, even when no one else did. I believe that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to, that nothing is impossible. I hope my journey, my story, my art, inspires others to follow their dreams.
I am the defiant thread, in this great tapestry called life, who has decided to weave instead of being woven, and to boldly proclaim himself a great artist. My rebellious, markers and aerosol cans, do not need nor seek your permission, as I converse with generations yet unborn. To you I may be nobody. Okay, then undeterred and unaffected I say to you, "Nobody did it!", as I leave my mark on the world for all eternity.