Jeneé Osterheldt

Kevin Hart hearts his portrait by KC celebrity artist: 'One of the best gifts ever'

Kansas City artist Aven Love painted Kevin Hart a portrait he called "one of the best gifts ever."
Kansas City artist Aven Love painted Kevin Hart a portrait he called "one of the best gifts ever."

When Kevin Hart's "Irresponsible Tour" rocked the Sprint Center last week, someone else stole the show. At least for the comedian.

Kansas City artist Aven Love presented Hart with his portrait. Hart called it "one of the best gifts ever."

Did you hear that? One of the best gifts ever!!

A post shared by Aven Love (@avenlove) on



She'd been working on it for a month. It's not as simple as paint on canvas. She uses glitter, epoxy and acrylics. Blow torching and sanding help achieve the glass-like finish of her lifelike renderings.

His chocolate skin pops right off the golden background. It's picture perfect. She even nails his hair texture and the shades of brown on his face.

After Friday's show, Hart shared the image with his 58.7 million Instagram followers, plus 35.2 million on Twitter and 24 million on Facebook. He thanked her and aptly described the work as amazing. It's already been liked nearly a half-million times.

A post shared by Aven Love (@avenlove) on

But this is not Aven Love's first brush with celebrities. Lady Gaga rolled down her window to snap a pic with the portrait Love made of her.

Her Instagram also shows Kansas City Chiefs star safety Eric Berry posing with a piece he signed. And there's an autographed painting of Kansas City Royals fave Salvador Perez.

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But for an indie artist with a growing brand, a plug from Kevin Hart could mean big business. Kansas City's own Matt Baldwin makes denim and gear sought out by the likes of Jay Z, Ellen DeGeneres and Jason Sudeikis. And Paseo grad Travis Cal styled Matthew Knowles' wedding, and his client list includes everyone from Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce to legendary diva Patti LaBelle.

Love is so busy, she said she'd have to talk about her work with us another time. She's focused on the big picture.

Jeneé Osterheldt is a Kansas City Star culture columnist. On Twitter: @jeneeinkc
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