This June a truly unusual exhibition is coming to Gallery II. The artworks in the show are full of artistic energy, lively immediacy and a joyful sense of exploration – and they are part of the creative output of a four-year-old child. The prodigy in question is Aelita Andre, the girl who has exhibited around the world, been featured in the international press and appeared on major television programs such as 60 Minutes and Today Tonight. She is also a member of NAVA, Australia’s National Association for the Visual Arts.
As you would expect from someone with such an impressive biography, Aelita’s art has a raw power that leaves viewers with a majestic impression of pure talent unearthed. Magnificently unrestrained, she channels a curiosity and vivacity so strong that it can easily be felt through her paintings, almost as if it constitutes a tangible force in the world.
There is nothing formulaic about Aelita’s work. She obviously takes pleasure in branching out, continually finding new challenges and techniques to help her create in the way she desires. As well as her ability to use a range of tools – from brushes to spatulas to fingers and hands – she also experiments with a variety of materials, sometimes including objects she has found such as leaves, twigs, glitter and gold leaf to give a piece a three-dimensional relief.
The story of how Aelita became a worldwide art sensation is an engaging one. Both of her parents are professional artists, and so paper, canvas and paints were always available in abundance as their daughter began to explore the world around her. Like many children, she loved to express herself artistically from an early age – but her parents’ trained eyes were able to see that there was something breathtakingly unique and powerful about her work that bore no resemblance to common childhood scribbles.
Without explaining who Aelita was or about her age, her mother showed some examples of her art to the curator of an exhibition she was herself due to take part in – and he was so impressed that he asked to get in touch with the artist so that he could include the work he had been shown! Once the identity of the artist was explained to him, he remained undaunted – the quality of the work proved that it should be included in the exhibition together with that of talented professional artists, regardless of the age of its creator. Since then Aelita has gained prestige throughout the world, and her paintings are held in collections in Europe, Asia and Australia. Britain’s BBC even congratulated her on her second birthday!
Yet despite all her fame and international travel, she continues to maintain a child’s innocent perspective, letting her non-judgmental, hectic perceptions and fantasies spill out into her art in a passionate flurry of color and form. What results has a whimsical sense of freedom and movement, as if anything could happen at any moment – and that, if it did, we would all be ready to jump in and engage with whatever it might be.
The Prodigy of Color is Aelita’s first solo show in New York City. It opens on June 4, 2011 and continues until June 25, 2011. The opening reception will take place on June 4, 2011, the same day that the exhibition opens, and as always entrance is free and we encourage all art-lovers who can make it to come and experience this genuinely remarkable event. You can find out more about Aelita on her website, and purchase her artwork on ARTmine.