This was in Todays Age in Melbourne.
My kid could paint that: toddler's abstract art on show
January 8, 2009
IS THIS a story of a child prodigy or a deliberate joke at the expense of the art world? In the curious case of Aelita Andre, it could be both of those things — or neither.
Back in October, Fitzroy commercial gallery director Mark Jamieson was asked by a Russian-born photographer whose work he represented to consider the work of another artist. Nikka Kalashnikova showed Jamieson some abstract paintings by an artist called Aelita Andre; Mr Jamieson liked what he saw and agreed to include it in a group show, alongside work by Kalashnikova and Julia Palenov (also a Russian) at his Brunswick Street Gallery later this month.
Mr Jamieson then started to promote the show, printing glossy invitations and placing ads in reputable magazines Art Almanac and Art Collector, in which the abstract work was featured. Only then did he discover a crucial fact about the new artist: Aelita Andre was Nikka Kalashnikova's daughter, and she was then just 22 months old. She turns two tomorrow.
"I was shocked and, to be honest, a little embarrassed," Mr Jamieson said of his response to the revelation.
He thought hard about whether or not to proceed, and talked it over with his colleagues. "And then I thought, 'Well, we'll give it a go'."
Mr Jamieson says the Brunswick Street Gallery has a policy of supporting emerging artists, though that policy doesn't usually extend to artists quite so young. He stands by his decision to show the work but concedes some people will think the gallery is doing the wrong thing.
He argues it is difficult to judge abstract painting. "There are different approaches, there is a formal approach and then there is a free-form approach that comes off a more intuitive base. And if you're thinking about the latter, perhaps a two-year-old can do it as well as a 30-year-old."