Our straight talking Lancashire lass takes a sideways look at the daily news.
Can anyone do 'modern art'?
If I told you that a four-year-old little girl had just put on her first art exhibition in a New York gallery, what would your reaction be? Would you raise your eyebrows and think ‘pushy parents’, or would you be curious and want a peek at the child prodigy’s work?
Personally I was a bit nonplussed because most pre-school kids are brilliant at stuff like crayons and watching Peppa Pig. But coming up with artistic masterpieces that are worthy of public attention? The parents of young Aelita Andre seem to think so.
In fact Aelita is currently the youngest ever professional artist, with her work selling for up to £6000.00 each. Cripes.
Now, without wanting to get too heavy duty - because it is Monday morning after all – antics like this make me question the value of some forms of modern art. I’m no expert, but surely work that looks as though it was thrown together without much thought, but that sells for astronomical amounts, still has value because the artist often has had years of training and they are working with a wealth of knowledge behind them. So for example Tracy Emin’s ‘My Bed’ may look like anyone’s messy bedroom after a heavy weekend, but does have intrinsic artistic value because of the context of her experiences.
So when a four-year-old squirts a load of glitter, paint handprints and jellybeans onto massive canvasses, you have to take them at face value because there is nothing behind them other than a small child’s love of covering oneself and surrounding objects in paint. It’s really cute actually, and there’s no doubt that the girl has oodles of talent. But is it worth £6000.00 per painting? I doubt it.
So is it exploitation? Perhaps – Aelita’s parents are certainly making a killing from their child’s creativity. But it’s a damn sight more healthy than those creepy Child Beauty Pageant mums who parade their daughters around in fake tan, bikinis and Botox.
And it’s not the first time a youngster has sold his paintings for eye-watering amounts of cash. Back in 2009 seven-year-old Kieron Williamson sold his painting collection for a whopping £17,000, with his watercolours of his local Norfolk landscape catching the eye of art critics and collectors alike.
And let’s not forget that Picasso himself started flexing his artistic muscles when he was very young, and he started his formal training aged seven. So perhaps investing in an ‘Aelita Andre’ original for £6,000 is a good idea!