Once upon a time a popular art hoax involved getting critics to praise a work of art, and then revealing that the work was really created by a monkey or a child, thereby proving what poor judgement the critics had. For instance, in the 1960s critics were embarrassed by the cases of Pierre Brassau, the monkey artist, as well as Willie the Painting Worm
. But I don't think that kind of hoax would work today because critics seem to be voluntarily lining up to heap praise on works by animals and infants. Paintings by asian elephants
are fetching thousands of dollars, and now a 4-year-old girl in New York, Marla Olmstead, is creating a buzz in the art world, having just had her own gallery show
. That's one of her paintings to the right. The owner of the gallery said it was his most successful show ever. The NY Times reports that "Marla has sold 24 paintings totaling nearly $40,000, with the prices going up. Her latest paintings are selling for $6,000. Some customers are on a waiting list."
I guess this proves that art is whatever critics say is art. It also proves that I'm definitely in the wrong line of work. Maybe I should branch out as the art manager for my 6-year-old niece, Astrid. She's done some very good work, if I may say so myself. For instance, her work shown below (titled: 'butterfly wings painted on a face') not only daringly uses her own face as a canvas, but also clearly evokes echoes of Picasso and Gauguin.