Aelita Andre – Australian abstract painter

Aelita Andre

Aelita Andre (born 9 January 2007) is an Australian abstract artist known for her Surrealist painting style and her young age. She began to paint when aged nine months, and her work was displayed publicly in a group exhibition shortly after she turned two. Her first solo exhibition opened in New York City in June 2011, when she was four years old

>You should also be interested in reading about Kieron Williamson, another young and talent artist.<

Andre’s mother, believing her daughter to be a child prodigy, showed some of Andre’s paintings to a Melbourne-based art curator when the girl was 22 months old. Impressed with the work, the curator agreed to include it in a group exhibition at the Brunswick Street Gallery, and he began advertising the show with Andre’s paintings before he learned of her age. Although he was surprised, he kept his promise to display the work. The show opened shortly after her second birthday and also featured Kalashnikova’s photography. Several months later, Andre and her parents visited Hong Kong, where she sold her most expensive painting to date for $24,000.

In her paintings, Aelita is not concerned with representation or figuration. She is far too broad and free-spirited to confine herself. Some works may allude to thematic concerns and employ found objects but they are blissfully contumacious. Aelita is overwhelmingly interested in color, texture, shape, line as a raw expressive ingredient in the process of creation. Bubbling, powdery, glistening surfaces intrigue her experimental mind and she finds the infinite dazzling variations of the interplay of color immensely exciting. Every stroke, smear, and splash is the indelible signature of innocence – the subconscious mind ‘writing’ its own existence – in the moment – onto a canvas using paint and found objects.

Today Aelita Andre is an internationally recognized artist whose solo exhibition at Agora Gallery, New York, in 2011 sold out in seven days. Created with the joy and free-spiritedness of her youth, her expressively colorful abstracts are remarkable evidence of her spontaneous intuitive impulses. Intention and message are at their most abstract in her art. Her art has been described as wildly imaginative eruptions of color in a kaleidoscopic phantasmagoria of paint and found objects.

Aelita Andre the youngest painter in the world

Aelita Andre is now recognized as the youngest painter in the world. From her 2011 sellout solo show in New York, Aelita has eager collectors of her work and fans around the world. She is continually exhibiting around the world achieving success and garnering acclaim at her shows.

Aelita’s parents first realized Aelita had a natural talent for painting one day when Aelita was only an infant. Her father Michael recalls, “Before Aelita was born I had dabbled in painting on and off as a pastime.”  He lay the canvas down in the family room and was about to begin painting when Aelita, still a tiny infant, crawled onto the canvas and without any hesitation began squeezing the tubes of paint and delightedly yelling and laughing smearing and dabbing paint across the canvas. It was instantly evident she loved her newfound activity and the effect she was creating, smiling and joyously babbling the way an infant does.  Her eyes glanced from one point to another absorbed in the act of painting; the sheer pleasure.

Her father stood up and looked at her painting instantly struck by the beauty of his daughter’s work. She had created an extraordinarily beautiful painting – a genuine work of art –  the work of a mature abstract artist. The painting was innocent and liberated yet mature and masterly in its execution and effect. Aelita Andre had hit on something fully formed, a style that has grown and developed and branched out and continues evolving to this day.

Nikka sought the opinion of a professional gallerist, approaching a highly regarded gallery in Melbourne, Australia, showing the curator several of Aelita’s paintings. He loved what he saw and insisted on exhibiting them. Nikka told her husband that not only was the curator impressed but insisted on exhibiting all Aelita’s paintings in an upcoming group exhibition. Nikka added she didn’t mention Aelita was a toddler – at that stage a twenty-month-old, confessing she didn’t know how to tell him, so didn’t mention age at all so as not to prejudice the curator’s attitude to Aelita’s paintings. Aelita was a one year old with sixteen of her paintings now officially part of an exhibition in a commercial gallery.

Taking the lead from Aelita’s own interest in everything to do with astronomy and dinosaurs, her parents showed her Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ series and more recently the rebooted series, “Cosmos a Spacetime Odyssey” hosted by renowned astrophysicist, Neil Degrasse Tyson. To this day she loves viewing it. Watching people of the caliber of Carl Sagan and Richard Attenborough will have a myriad of subtle yet profound effects on a young mind. Children absorb so much more than just the information presented: the presenter’s demeanor; vocal style; speech pattern; vocabulary, the refinement of an individual, all plays a part in what is being transmitted to a child.

From the very first painting, Aelita ever did she would concentrate far longer than on any other activity. It has been observed that a significant number of adults who pursue a particular field or career path in life first develop an interest in it at an early age – as young as four or five. Yet for a person to achieve a mastery and success at that age is virtually unheard of. There was no learning phase, no apprenticeship, no ‘education’ no trial and error. Her style was there, present, fully developed from the beginning. “I don’t like the term ‘prodigy’”, said Michael, “because of the connotations of what it implies, yet what Aelita creates, and the impulses that produce it must be acknowledged and recognized.” An interviewer for the American talk show “Good Morning America” asked Aelita, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Without missing a beat the four-year-old Aelita laughed and replied, “A caterpillar!” Only Andy Warhol gave answers like that. The Absurdists and Dadaists would have been proud. Recently when a reporter asked Aelita how long will she continue to paint for, Aelita answered, “I will paint until I die, but it doesn’t matter because I will live forever!” Aelita Andre’s parents recall an incident where she awoke at one a.m. in the morning crying and repeating over and over, “I want to paint, I want to paint!” In her own way Aelita recognizes that, for her, painting is as natural as breathing, walking and speaking and will remain with her for the rest of her life.

Aelita painted before she could talk and walk. Painting was her first coordinated expressive action. Apart from the immediate aesthetic appeal of her creations, what, her parents wondered, must be happening inside her mind from this tactile and immersive experience? Her brain would be forming a myriad of connections that may have otherwise never formed. It was something beyond the appeal of the final result although that was immensely satisfying to see. Aelita makes volcanoes from colored sand and pours paint to simulate primordial eruptions of lava. She dramatically accompanies this with stories of escaping animals from ‘Pangea’ – the name given to the Earth’s continents 300 million years ago when they were all joined together as a ‘supercontinent’. This is just one of the many and varied themes Aelita depicts in her works.

Aelita Andes employs techniques and materials naturally and freely as she sees fit at that moment. Every action contributes to the painting and is infused with a genuine expression of joy and wonder. Often while painting Aelita will pause and say, “Oh wow, that’s so beautiful!”, or, “Oh, look at that!” Aelita comes up with her extraordinary creative and evocative names after finishing her painting, then bows and says in a refined voice, “Thank you”, and exits the painting area.

Aelita has never had any formal training in art although several artists have all offered to ‘teach’ her for free – something Aelita has so far refused. Aelita has achieved artistic and financial success by using only her intuition so she sees no need to be taught. Aelita says, “I don’t want to copy anyone, I want to be original!” Learning is a double-edged sword because you can simply begin to take on the characteristics of your teacher and lose your own originality so it is a very very difficult question.

Aelita loves learning science and sees no division between it and art. Aelita only watches educational programs on her iPad including Khan Academy lectures. Aelita understands atoms and subatomic particles, protons and those protons contain three quarks! Children are naturals to understand these abstract concepts because they live in an imaginative abstract world where normal reality seamlessly connects with the absurd abstract world – just like the atomic world and the rule-breaking subatomic world.

Some people may think that because Aelita is such a prolific painter that somehow she does not lead a normal life but in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Aelita loves playing the piano and violin, looking forward to her weekly lessons. She also loves ballet, rhythmic gymnastics, singing and learning drums. She has so much energy and enjoys developing her skills and being with her friends in her activities. Everywhere Aelita goes she makes friends and walks up to and talks to everyone – she is definitely not shy. Aelita loves wordplay jokes and much of what Aelita finds funny is humor derived from language itself.

Visit Aelita Andre official site here.

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