Minus The Nemesis
A Collaboration of Some of the Finest Thought on Today's World


Friday, July 22, 2005
On a recent flight due to a business trip, I watched a 60 Minutes episode that brought to my attention one Marla Olmstead. This is a four year old girl who paints and is compared to Pollock. Not being an artist I can't say with any scrutiny how good her work is, or is not. What I can say is this: "hey, that looks like a 4-year old painted it!"

Minus the Nemesis

Supposedly a prodigy in the abstract painting arena, young Marla has already sold paintings without buyers being aware of her age (not that it matters in the least). I am not so sure that there is such thing as a 'prodigy' in abstract painting. Other types of paintings I will admit to, but not abstract art. It's just that; abstract, devoid of specific ideas or thoughts. I can just as easily throw down some random 'thoughts' on canvas with 'passion' and 'energy' and call it abstract art. As a matter of fact, I have done it in the past, unintentionally even. Next time, perhaps I will be ready with a camera or charcoal and paper to record my prodigal abstractness before the waters swirl away my masterpiece once again.

Coincidentally, I have been to some art museums before, including the Guggenheim in New York City, as well as the Hirshhorn in Washington DC and thought exactly the same thing when looking at famous artists' abstract works, that I did when looking at Marla's: "hey, that looks like a 4-year old painted it!"

What I did find disturbing in all reality was that Marla's parents seem suspect. They may in fact be socking away all of the proceeds to a trust fund for Marla, but any shred of a normal life that kid may have had are diminished quite a bit. Almost like the parents who press their children into playing sports, ballet, piano lessons, etc. I have seen video of Marla painting. It really does look like what you would expect from a 4-year old. She seems to be having fun while creating her art. That's the important part...so long as her parents realize that when she loses interest (if she does) in painting, it's OK to do so. Marla's parents apparently give her a helping hand in the creation and finishing of the paintings. I really don't care if they do or not, it's just sad that they compete with their own 4-year old daughter if that's the case. Gee mom and dad, if it's abstract, why are you messing with it, and telling her what and where to paint? Or maybe they just couldn't cut it in the art scene themselves, so they needed a gimmick? Who knows.

Frankly, I don't find it amazing in the least that a 4-year old paints at the direction of her parents. What is amazing you ask? Simply this:

Minus The NemesisMinus the Nemesis

Congo was rocking the art scene since 1957 and selling painting's at auction ($25,000 actually) and he's a chimp in case you didn't notice. Now, how exactly is a 4-year old painting worth mentioning again?

I was reading some art boards to get a take on the situation in the bohemian world. What I found was mixed emotions, but one important point in my opinion; when prompted to do so, a dealer and promoter (Stuart Simpson) of Marla's paintings (yes, he has a gallery and website promoting the 4-year old) made a comment that was a bit odd:
"One of the Pollock pieces just went for 15 Million, so keep up the bad talk guys, that just leaves more originals for the rest of us that are collecting them as fast as possible."
Well, gee scooter, if they are so valuable that you must hoard them, why would you set up a gallery and a website to sell them all? Maybe it's just in style at the moment? It's what's "hot" right now? Profiteering glutton.

Comments: Post a Comment