Friday, September 14, 2007

I don't know much about art but

A year or so ago I heard of painting prodigy Akiane, and after seeing her work it was clear to me that she's technically gifted, but not exactly a visionary. Now there's Marla Olmstead and better yet, the movie. Check out this great trailer. It's being released next month and I am so going. It turns out her dad is a failed artist and I can hardly wait to see how they tackle the question of his involvement in her budding genius. There's some good background on the Marla phenomenon at Wikipedia.

20 Comments:

Blogger dinahmow said...

That is not what I call "great" art.Nice portrait work, but 'way too much fluorescence of the I've-seen-Jesus style.Like those ghastly things you see in fairgrounds
I suspect Mommy and Daddy are the serious motivators here.The Shirley Temple Syndrome?
My loud opinion.

14/9/07 2:09 PM  
Blogger carla said...

Akian's art and story really freaks me out... it's just too bizarre for my taste. I must agree with dinahmow's critical assessment:> Now Marla... I'm with you; the movie sounds like a must-see!

14/9/07 4:18 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Dinah and Carla: I know. Like I said, technically proficient, but the romantic execution of Akian's portraits are like an overdose of cotton candy. I have to see more of Marla's stuff to form an opinion, though. If either of you see the movie before me I want a review please!

14/9/07 4:23 PM  
Blogger zooms said...

Hmmm, why am I feeling uncomfortable about this?
Jealousy perhaps? No, I don't think so, I just wonder about the parental motivation to expose children to a world that, when they are older, they would have a choice, whether or not, to participate in.

14/9/07 4:28 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Zooms: Exactly! It's like the art world equivalent of the stage mom syndrome.

14/9/07 4:38 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

I couldn't figure out who all the adults were in that trailer! Yeah, I'll have to watch that.

14/9/07 9:03 PM  
Blogger daisies said...

definitely want to see that movie ... and yeah ... am a bit freaked out as well by akiane's art and story ...

14/9/07 11:49 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

What happens to kids childhoods hen their parents are trying to live their own lives through them?

15/9/07 1:52 AM  
Blogger Merisi said...

I know one child prodigy, she's now 17, has had exhibitions since before she finished elementary school. She has also been the sweetest child, but since preschool she could live like a regular child only in school, what with after school lessons every single day and weekends. Sometimes I fear for her and sometimes I wonder if my children did not get enough support from me (i.e. if I should have pushed them harder towards the arts). Then again, I think the world may need art-loving or talented children in the professions they are aspiring to, like business, psychiatry, biology and psychology.

15/9/07 2:56 AM  
Blogger Merisi said...

One other friend of my children comes to mind, he entered an Arts College in the USA this month: He loved to photograph since he was a young teenager. He earned the money to get one of the first good digital SRLs. Nobody is the arts in his family, nobody pushed him, but his family let him work on his photography as long as he did his school work. I am sure, he is going to be one of the great photographers, because at only eighteen he has already gained much more than technical knowledge, he knows how to live a "normal" life, has acquired persistense and patience in persuing his art. College will give him the right tools and insights, I am sure.

15/9/07 3:02 AM  
Blogger Paula Manning-Lewis said...

It disgusts me when parents push their kids into something that they have failed at. They need to let the kids be kids and get a life!

15/9/07 7:18 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Belinda: Freaky, eh? I guess everyone has a stake!

Daisies and Cream and Paula: And they say it's "for the best interests of the child."

Merisi: Being art-loving and talented has very little to do with actually BEING an artist. The world is full of kids who love music or draw well. The only time parents should swoop in with extra support is if they see that their child is driven and wants to do nothing else. Commitment is the key. The world would do a lot better with businesspeople, psychiatrists, biologists and psychologists who love the arts than a bunch of artists whose parents pushed them because they were wanting to fulfill *their* dreams, especially when these kids would have done better in other professions and kept their practice of art in proportion to their love of it. (Of course that's when those art-loving psychiatrists and psychologists would be especially handy. :) Same for your kid's friend: living a "normal" life, technical skills and going to art college are useful, even valuable things, but none of these things will make him "great." If he's as driven as you say then *that* is the key. So many parents, whether they want their kids to be mainstream, conventional professionals(businesspeople, psychiatists, psychologists and biologists) or artists who can make a mark on the world, are blinded by their overriding desire for their kids to succeed according to THE PARENTS' agenda. As parents, recongizing what makes the child happy and supporting that should be our only concern. (As you can tell, being raised by parents who were unable to divorce themselves from the process made its mark on me! :)

15/9/07 7:27 AM  
Blogger Caty said...

I don't like Akiane's art...but very mcuh Marla's

I guess there are 2 points:
1. Marla did them alone or not
2. Is that actually art?

I guess point 1 is irrelevant to me (just that it is not a good idea to tell her she is a prodigy child if she isn't...I mean: the kid's health is the most important in this case) and it has to be "watched" as any other artist's paintings

15/9/07 8:51 AM  
Blogger HMBT said...

I think the whole thing is sad for the kid. I mean here she is four and her world is about working on art for her parents to sell?
I was a child actor from early on...and I never wanted to do it. I did it well, I went to work all the time and missed school and friends because I had to work...until I was 14 then I started doing drugs and freaking out just because I couldn't tell my people I didn't want this life...they did. I never saw a red dime of my work money either...my parents had a nice life (and an even better divorce settlement) because of my work...and I didn't even get to go to collage. It really turned my stomach...but I still want to see the movie. Maybe it'll all work out for that little artist...but I could squirt paint and rub it around...wait! Maybe that's why I am not selling my work right now...I'm trying too hard! *smirk*

16/9/07 4:29 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Caty: Excellent point. Even if she IS painting them herself, what exactly is she being set up for as an adult?

HMBT: Or maybe you just need a *gimmick.* Isn't that the best way to seek attention? :)

16/9/07 6:13 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I want to see the movie now - thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Have you ever heard the same remark, say at an outdoor art fair. I hear it at least once whenever I do one... "my kid could paint that". I always cringe a little, but hey what a concept.

16/9/07 4:43 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Cynthia: I remember my MIL saying it! :)

17/9/07 10:16 AM  
Blogger Tori said...

Marla is from my hometown and I had no idea. I can't wait to see this! Thanks for sharing...
Akiane's pictures remind me of those velvet prints on the side of the road...am I crazy?

18/9/07 10:13 AM  
Anonymous tongue in cheek said...

Thank you for sharing... very interesting...I think many children, most in fact are brilliant in their art forms. It seems Marla has a few things most children don't...supportive parents, tons of tools to paint and a equal amount of paint, a place to let paint squirt and squeeze and make a mess and have parents smiling and encouraging. She is a doll child too, and talented in her expression.
Though if more children, had such support or freedom what a beautiful place we would live it...at least more colorful.
I look forward to the movie.

21/9/07 7:17 AM  
Anonymous tongue in cheek said...

oh I forgot Akiane, not my style of art nevertheless very talented.

21/9/07 7:25 AM  

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