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My Kid Could Paint That CL Recommends

When: Mon., May 13, 6 p.m. 2013
Price: Free for members; $8 for general public
There’s a fine line between abstract art and child’s play. Though abstract works sometimes lack restraint in regards to color splattering and finger painting, they are usually created by adult artists, not toddlers. That’s what made the case of young Marla Olmstead so intriguing. In 2004, the then four-year-old became known as an art prodigy, her artwork drawing comparisons to Jackson Pollock. Selling more than $300,000 worth of paintings, the child also made her claim to fame in the media world — where controversy arose about her artistic father’s help and/or coaching, detailed in Amir Bar-Lev’s My Kid Could Paint That. The 2007 documentary followed Marla Olmstead and her family in a quest to gain some sort of clarity to the truth of her art process and whether or not daddy was behind the brush strokes. Tag lines from the film read “Inspiration or Manipulation? You Decide,” and “American dream or art world scheme?”
— Anita Overcash


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