Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Genius or Victim

I do not know what to make of old Kieron Williamson, his parents or his buyers—the kid is NINE YEARS OLD and he has a gallery selling his original watercolours and derivative limited edition prints. Today, a news release says he has just bought his parents a home in Ludham, Norfolk; his parents have announced a retrospective of his work for next year—and again, he will be ten years old.

This story joins those of other child prodigy visual artists (sample) and the painting elephant whose stories make me wonder about the artists "owners," agents and buyers. Children and animals have no rights; they are virtually "owned" by their guardians. When children prodigies become known to the world, you know that their "owners" are behind the exploitation.

Keiron cannot sign any legal documents. The empire of exploitation surrounding him is entirely facilitated by his parents—the new home owners. Although he may enjoy the special status his talent brings him, I see him as a victim. The lad will never know life without pressure—from his parents, the galleries involved, the media and the market. He will lose the joy and freedom of his youth. Stories like this make me very uncomfortable.

Link to story about "the Mini Monet."

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