Marla Olmstead: is she the real deal?

Zolton Editor

By Zolton in New Art on Saturday 16 January 2010

We posted a while back about the debate surrounding the legitimacy of the artwork of child prodigy Marla Olmstead. The furor, in particular, centered around her performance in a controversial documentary, My Child Could Paint That, which looked at the then four-year old, who was already exhibiting regularly, despite her age, and the questions that […]

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Marla Olmstead, an eight year old art prodigy

Zolton Editor

By Zolton in New Art on Thursday 8 January 2009

I watched the controversial documentary last night, My Child Could Paint That, which looked at the then four-year old art ‘genius’, Marla Olmstead, who was already exhibiting regularly (and selling her works for thousands), despite her age and the questions that were being repeatedly raised about the influence her rather ambitious father might have been having on her artwork. It was fascinating to watch, both for the trainweck story plots which hijacked its generally reverential tone, and for the process by which Olmstead was creating her vibrant, colourful, and exciting modern art pieces. Apart from anything else, the documentary raised important questions about what actually constitutes ‘good’ art and why some art sells for so much more than others. It’s all subjective, of course, but the outcry that greeted claims of third party interference in her paintings (a claim which has been noticeably muted over the years) suggests that it’s often less about the work itself than about the story or personality behind the artist who created it. Either way, Marla Olmstead is now eight years old, is still painting, and is selling her work for remarkable amounts. If you have a spare thirty thousand dollars or so, this piece above is apparently still available. So crack open that well fed piggy bank and get some modern art on your walls.

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