Kadir Nelson is an award-winning artist and illustrator whose works have been published by Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, Coca-Cola, The New York Times, Major League Baseball, and Nike, among others. In 1996, Nelson served as the lead "Conceptual Artist" for Steven Spielberg's feature film, "Amistad."
Nelson has also illustrated several best-selling picture books that reviewers from The New York Times, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly describe as "Transcendent," "Powerful," and "Elegant." Presently, over a two dozen children's books are in print including MOSES: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People To Freedom, by Carole Boston Weatherford, which won a Caldecott Honor, and Coretta Scott King and NAACP Image Awards. His other picture books include the Coretta Scott King Award Book, ellington was not a street, by Ntozake Shange, New York Times Best-Sellers Salt in His Shoes, by Deloris and Roslyn Jordan, Henry s Freedom Box, by Ellen Levine, and Coretta Scott, by Ntozake Shange. Nelson also authored an illustrated the multi-award-winning and best-selling tribute to the Negro Baseball Leagues entitled, "WE ARE THE SHIP: The Story of Negro League Baseball," which was published by Disney/Hyperion in 2008. Currently, Nelson is penning and illustrating a book about African American history, entitled HEART AND SOUL, which will be published by HarperCollins in the 2011.
In addition to his published work, Nelson has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country and abroad including the Simon Weisenthal Center, Museum of Tolerance and the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences in Los Angeles, The Museum of African American History in Detroit, The Smithsonian Anacostia Museum in Washington DC, The Society of Illustrators and the Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, The Bristol Museum in England, The Citizen's Gallery of Yokohama, Japan and the Center for Culture of Tijuana, Mexico. Many of his paintings can also be found in private and public collections throughout the country. Nelson was tapped to paint portraits of acclaimed author Richard Wright for the United States Postal Service, and of Shirley Chisholm for the U.S. House of Representatives that will hang in Capitol Building in Washington DC. Most recently, Nelson created the album cover artwork for late pop singer Michael Jackson s first posthumously released album entitled, MICHAEL.
Although Nelson works in a variety of styles, he always retains a sense of identity and focus in his work. Nelson s works are instantly recognizable by the emotion and strength of his varied subject matter. "In my work, I aim to show the strength and integrity of the human being and the human spirit."