Monday, June 11, 2012

She's Cute, But . . .


It didn't help that I'd been reading Gore Vidal just before I saw the above video on  But even if I hadn't, I'd have had my doubts.  The piece is too clearly a commercial.  The people who put it together have identified a suite of things we'd like to believe and are busily selling it to us.

The background is simple.  Young Aelita began painting at the age of 9 months and started showing her art at age 2.  She has solo gallery shows.  Her art looks like a prettier version of Jackson Pollock.  It sells for pretty big bucks.  And the phenomenon has invited a raftload of uncritical media coverage.

Why not?  The story has everything:  A Magical Child.  The notion that creativity is not only inherent but fun.  The valorization of the intuitive over the intellectual.  The suggestion that if you or  I could only let go of our stuffy accretion of adultness, we could do this ourselves.

I saw a grumpy aside in an article in an art magazine that on one of the films young Aelita appears in, her father can be heard giving her directions.  Which, supposedly, caused a major reevaluation  of the work downward in the art world.  But this fact, if fact it is, seems not to have changed the coverage.

Me, I think she's a cute kid who's having fun.  I like children's art, though I prefer it representational and, if at all possible, involving monsters or castles or things normally seen only in dreams.  But this is nice too.  I wish I'd thought to buy some cheap canvases and let the kid fling paint on them when he was little.  He would have gotten a kick out of it.

Still . . . serious art?  Not when the suggestion that an adult might be involved invalidates it.


1 comment:

Dario said...

Yeah. I have similar feelings when I hear--as is becoming annoyingly common on NPR--young grade schoolers spouting improbably cogent ideas on things like the national debt. You KNOW the parents have coached them, it's transparent as anything. The child though is innocent.