BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - William Tolliver might be the most critically acclaimed artists you've never heard of. His paintings have been shown in major museums.
The Mississippi native died 15 years ago, and the estate handling his paintings has brought some of Tolliver's work to the Coast.
Colorful and diverse art was created from the heart and soul of William Tolliver. The painter, born in Vicksburg, used an array of styles in his creations. Tolliver was only 49 years old when he died in 2000.
His life story is fascinating.
"With him being a self-taught painter at the age of 12, there is no other artist who compares to William. He would paint more than 11 originals in a night. Any artist that could do that is classified as a genius," said estate curator Jamie Lowe.
Lowe and Tolliver's son, William, have brought art to the Coast. It can be viewed and purchased at Negrotto's Gallery in Biloxi.
The pieces are part of William Tolliver's estate, and some high profile collectors own original paintings.
"Michael Jordan is a collector along with Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey. The National Museum of Art in Washington carries his work and the Smithsonian has exhibited his art," according to Lowe.
Tolliver utilized styles ranging from still life to impressionism to abstract art.
Even though he died 15 years ago, William Tolliver's work is appreciated in some of America's most significant art circles.
"He's gone to heaven, and we're still celebrating his art today," said Lowe.