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Old 01-19-2009, 04:23 AM   #1
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But Is It Art?

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A Melbourne gallery has been embarrassed after it emerged that vivid artworks it chose to display in a forthcoming exhibition were actually created by a two-year-old.

Aelita Andre's mother, established Russian-born photographer Nikka Kalashnikova, showed her daughter's paintings to gallery director Mark Jamieson in October, failing to disclose the fact that the creative genius behind the work was just 22-months-old.

Mr Jamieson liked the paintings enough to include them in a group show, alongside photographs by Kalashnikova and work by another artist Julia Palenov, according to reports in The Age newspaper.

He had printed invitations to the show and paid for advertisements in an art magazine before Aelita's age was revealed.

Mr Jamieson admits being embarrassed by the revelation, but decided to proceed with the exhibition.

"I was shocked, to be honest, and a little embarrassed," he told the paper, saying that although the gallery liked to support emerging artists, this was the first time they had backed someone quite so junior.

"And then I thought, 'Well, we'll give it a go'." Aelita's parents deny they tried to mislead the gallery.

Kalashnikova said she and her husband simply wanted a second opinion on work they believed to be unique and beautiful.

"The gallery owner didn't ask my age when I applied because I have to present him my work, age is age," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Aelita's paintings, which go on show at the Brunswick Street Gallery later this month, are priced between $350 and $2000.
Art gallery fooled into showing work of a two-year-old - Telegraph
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:33 AM   #2
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Eh, meh, whatever.

Might as well show the artworks, I suppose. Since 'art' and 'craft' are now apparently two concepts totally divorced and drifting down a centuries-long path of divergence, then whatever. I'm sure the curator can write up a nice blurb to explain the works.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:21 AM   #3
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LOL. The paintings are the same though, aren't they, if done by a 32 year old or a 2 year old? Is art the process/concept or the product? Is it a more valid painting if done by a 32 year old? Why, why not?
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:28 AM   #4
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Or a different species of animal for that matter, I am a total novice to art, I would say that a distinction may be in the intention of the artist, when looking at something abstract a viewer can try and read intention and grasp the concepts that were deliberately put into the work; when it is a two year old these may not be as nuanced, although animal art raises questions about how brains work and the short gap between humans and other animals.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:33 AM   #5
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I was considering animals when I wrote my post.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:47 AM   #6
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I have to laugh when I think of two art afficiandos arguing the intent of the artist without knowing the painting was done by a 2 year old.

And I agree that figuring out the intent/influence/symbolism/whatever of a 17 yr old, 32 yr old, 55 yr old and the experience they bring and perspective they bring with them is more interesting than that of a 2 year old, even a possible prodigy, although it would be fascinating to get into the 2 year old's head and find out whether there is some concept or instinct? Would be interesting to follow this child and see what she does as an adult?

My question is, though: Does the object require the subjective to be art? Or can the object stand alone?
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:12 AM   #7
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Well damn. I guess your two year old can can paint as well as those artists!
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:55 AM   #8
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Would be interesting to follow this child and see what she does as an adult?
Might be a wise investment to get a painting now lol. She may one day be the artworld's Mozart.

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My question is, though: Does the object require the subjective to be art? Or can the object stand alone?
It can be both can't it? In the same way that a piece of music stands alone to be interpreted by the listener. Knowing more about the artist just adds layers to the impression. Which can enrich the piece in some cases and in others, make say, a Picasso much better than it really is if you have pre-conceived opinions of the artist....
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:47 AM   #9
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If someone wants to pay thousands of dollars for my little brother's fingerpainting then I'll be happy with that. Who am I to say that one color splashed one way across another is crap? There is some decision making involved in everything. Even if you placed a bug in paint and let it crawl over the canvass, the bug makes a choice where to go.
There's a reason why a 2-year-old would choose to put her hand in green paint when blue is readily available next to it. It won't be for the same reason that a professional would, but there was still a visible effort to put herself in what she was doing.

Yes, I can bs my way out of a paper bag.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:44 AM   #10
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I'm wondering how the pieces have colored backgrounds - did they come that way, or did somone besides the child do that?

I actually love art done by children, but I prefer drawings.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:08 PM   #11
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I'm pretty sure the parents prepped the canvases, including painting the backgrounds.

I found a video showing the little girl painting and it looks as if she gets a lot of parental direction -- more than I expected from reading the article. Of course having a tv crew there might be distracting for her, so she might do much more on her own when the cameras aren't around.

Here's the link to the video.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:22 PM   #12
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Many of the early modernists, specifically dadaism and surrealism relied, often unabashedly lifted their techniques and paintings from drawings done by children. Picasso famously said, 'Every child is an artist; the problem is how to remain one when one grows up.' There are several texts and pictoral examples of a child's drawing and a famous artist's painting compared that are entirely similar which unfotrunately I can't find now.

Contemporary art I believe allows children and novices of art practices to become so popular because they have no a priori understanding of institutional tradition. Contemporary art and its aesthetics is really based upon this idea of the novel, disparate and strayed from regimented idea of what art 'is' and 'is not'.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:23 PM   #13
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I think art is best when it's anonymous.
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:37 PM   #14
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Well damn. I guess your two year old can can paint as well as those artists!
Perhaps it's that these artists are merely the quality of an average 2 year old..
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:50 PM   #15
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It's a variant of Christ's injunction to 'suffer the little children' to come unto him. Of course, he didn't say 'the little children have suffered for their art, now it's your turn'.
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