Monday, September 04, 2006

The Genius of a Child

To play off of Sara's post about "Baby Geniuses", I thought I'd present to you... Marla Olmstead, a six-year old who sold her first painting for $250 when she was 2 years old and is now considered an artistic prodigy. Check out her work by following the link above. She has been featured by...

LA Weekly
The New York Times
60 minutes
The Today Show
BBC News
and many, many others...

Just thought it might add to your discussion as to what defines genius and the subjective nature of artistic "knowledge". What do you think?


Merry_Dip_Salad_Bunny said...

Wow! It is amazing what this little girl can do!!!
She was only two when she did this?!
I left a comment under Sara's post "Baby Geniuses" that you should read if you want my ideas on why we find this kind of art intriguing.

I would agree that some children are geniuses, but would you agree that not all are necessarily artistic geniuses? well i suppose there is no definate answer to this, and its all a matter of mass opinion or is it? I am quite confused at the moment. Keep us all updated! :)


Vvyynn said...

I don't really understand what we're speaking about here. So I'll just assume it's the "artisticness" of this child, Marla I believe. I'm disagreeing with the bunny here. I don't find it all that impressive. I see it as something any child does with fingerpaint. "But, Vinni", you may retort, "This child is making hundreds of dollars with her art. What other child does that?". Well, not many children, of course that's because not many children have parents who could submit their artwork into a gallery where a passing person will say "This is great! It reflects the soul or something!" and purchase it and call it art. Thus, it's no different than anything. Millions of people bought empty white canvases during the 1920's Dada revolution. They bought these because...well they had nothing better to do. I think the same is true here, this girl is no different than anyone else, only thanks to money and self-esteem she is now deemed a prodigy. Thus, she will continue to think that she is a prodigy, and so she will continue to hone her art until maybe she can create something that impresses a cold, heartless stone such as myself. In closing, I feel that currently Marla is no different than any other child, except that she has rich parents. However, soon her mind will tell her that all these "genius" claims are true, and so she will begin to become a genius. Well, that's my second reference to Dada today, so I see it as a day well spent. Merry Christmas.

devin said...

By how we see art, small children are more likely to become "stars" in the art-world than adults are. The point of art as I see it is to capture part of the human existence and physically represent it using a canvas of color. As small children are known for their visible lack of foreign corruptive influence (aka "innocence"), they are more likely to take the colors they see and represent what they are feeling more accurately than an adult ever could. So yes, I believe that this child is a "genius" in the sense that every child is a "genius", she just found a way to express her feelings that's making her parents VERY happy, I'd bet.

Vvyynn said...
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