I've heard him called a Van Gogh too. Seems more like a little Constable to me, but he's good. It'll be fun to see when he grows up. The thing is, so many young kids can/could paint like this if they were encouraged. I've taught kids who were this good in Massachusetts.
Enough read, that says it all. Overbearing parent exploiting their kid. I've seen a similar story before... 12 year old girl who made highly sophisticated realistic oil(?) paintings and she's super religious and was hailed as God's messenger... very very lame, and those collectors paying for their works expecting those kids to become big in the future, are bigger idiots than their parents... those kids will grow up hating their life before ever sticking to art...Kieron, whose 44-year-old father Keith is an art dealer...
I also love the kind of comments left under the article....
andNew Picasso....? This young lad has vastly more talent and has a wonderful appreciation of light and perspective.
If it were possible to ask both of them to paint the same scene, or face, I bet the vast majority of people would prefer Kieron's work.
over 200 people agreed to both of these comments.... I think its a good indication of the Art intelligence level of the average believer of this BS. we should let kids just be kids instead of forcing them to be "great"Don't insult this highly talented lad with the 'Picasso' label. His pictures actually look like something.
A redeeming factor here is that it is the Daily Mail. The same newspaper who wrote gems such as "Facebook causes cancer".over 200 people agreed to both of these comments.... I think its a good indication of the Art intelligence level of the average believer of this BS.
What puzzles me is why they call this kid "the new Picasso", though. Picasso is known to make highly abstract oilpaintings while this kid does aquarel realism/expressionism. Why not the new Monet? That'd be more accurate. (But then again, I suppose it's normal to just have famous names thrown out there just like every good writer is called "The new Shakespeare", whether his work has any resemblance with that of Shakespeare or not).
And I agree with zwarrior. While I used to be a part of the crowd that deemed Picasso as one of the most overrated artists ever (and I have to admit that his art is still not my cup of tea), after learning about the background of his art, the inspiration and philosophy behind it, I got so much more appreciation of his work.
I hope you'll end up being wrong about this kid ending up hating his life for whatever reason (overbearing parents? being raised in an environment obsessed with succes?), though.
ha, maybe I did go a bit overboard by saying they'd hate their life, I'm assuming they'd grow up rebellious and against their parents' manipulative ways.
I found the girl I mentioned btw, I still am doubtful.. I'll believe all of those kids' abilities when they're working by themselves if front of a camera front start to finish.
and turns out her little brother is also a "prodigy"....
a philosopher and philanthropist since age 6....their parents should be arrested.He has created over 50 abstract paintings and 2000 poems, aphorisms, quantum ideas, comprising of 10 books, the first of which got published when Ilia was 6.
Last edited by nauvice; November 30th, 2009 at 04:43 AM.
I teach children and adults alike here in a private school. The age of my students range from as young as 5 years old to as old as 50, and I can tell you that in the Chinese view of education, forcing skills upon your young children through their whole school career is as common as day and night.
I have talked to many of my adult students who were put through this childhood of forced skill development, and the vast majority of them didn't endure skill development because they did something and their parents noticed and decided to encourage them, almost all of them were forced to undergo training and simply endured because "My parents told me to", most of them being told that it's to create a bright future for them when they grow up, but most feeling that their parents just wanted a cushy retirement since it's traditional here for children to take care of the parents when they hit retirement age (e.g. the parents moving into their childrens house as many of my friends are now putting up with, or paying for their parents lives outright) and thought that their parents just wanted to make them masters of a skill or two so they can get high paying jobs so they can buy nice stuff.
Upon graduating from university many of these people say that the moment they had the smallest slack in the leash their parents were holding on them they immediately abandoned the skills they were forced to study in favor of things that made them feel more "normal".
I remember one student in particular who is now 24 years old and she works in a restaurant. She was forced from about age 7 to study piano rigorously for hours every day, and she can play the piano beautifully (I have heard her) but the sight of a piano disgusts her, let alone the idea of playing it. She now works in he restaurant playing piano, and hates every moment of it but persists because mom and dad told her to. On the same token I have had students who were artists (were being the operative word here) who had similar environments as what it sounds like this kid has. Parents who worked in or dealt with art, and wanted their kid to be the next big thing so they could reap the benefits of it, and forced them to undergo intense training in art despite the childs total hate of it and while they are creative and skilled, and some of these people even work in art now, most of them do it out of a feeling of sheer obligation to their parents than anything else.
That's not to say that the idea of teaching children skills is bad, or that all "child stars" are the result of parental exploitation, the point is just that these sort of things need more careful thinking than most people give it.
Last edited by Sepulverture; November 30th, 2009 at 05:40 AM.
First is something a friend of mine told her son a couple of days ago when he did something very wrong:
"When I was your age (12) I was going to school and afterwards I had to work in the business of my father. My life was school, work and sleep if I could. No sports, no weekend, no nothing."
This is common for children who are not raised in our 20th/21st western society.
Next is a relative of mine. When she was young she was swimming on national championships.
Swimming on that level requires serious dedication. Almost every day training, mornings before school and afternoons after school. Matches during weekends.
What's 'let kids be kids'? I think this relative had a good time. She quit swimming because she could not compete at national level at later age. She was firmly encouraged to swim, not forced to.
And my friend? From our perspective she didn't have a nice youth. For her it was normal. And not so very long ago it was also normal in western society.
However, both of them know very well who they are and what their value is.
No such BS as we see sometimes here on CA: "zomg, I am afraid to do X, people are always more talented than I am, dunno if people like what I do, I'm afraid to ask money for my work, ....."
They do things because they can do.
Like my friend says: "If I want something I give 100% and do. I hate this word 'proberen' (dutch for trying), I do! If I cannot do I don't want to put energy into it, I go learn till I can do if I really want to do".
I think we let our kids be too much kids.....
Being Chinese myself I agree with Sepulverture above. No matter how much potential a child shows, if they're forced to do something they'll eventually come to hate it. It's a cultural thing for most people here and only recently are people realizing that forcing your kids to do something won't make them instant geniuses/prodigies.
I'm honestly worried about their future. They have great potential but I fear other people will just use them for their own gain.
@jos: I think we should teach children to be responsible first and foremost. Letting 'kids be kids' is okay, but not so much that they get spoiled.
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I agree completely with the point about hating what you're parents force on you.
It's the reason why I quit football. I have a cousin in the NFL, another playing college basketball, and another an ESPN writer (all ftom the same parents!), With my own dad having a small run in the CFL. It's get's irritating fast, it used to be a fun thing, but with how much they wanted me to devote my whole life to becoming pro, I just quit sports altogether.
I think there are too many things that parents force on thier kids.. not just jobs, but to open a whole other can worms, things like religion. I was having a conversation with a friend recently, and I asked her why she chose the religion she did, "Because my parents made me." is how she answered. Religion and a career are humongous aspects of your life, in lots of cases they are your whole life. It seems too big a thing to force on anyone. You get one life, and you have to life the whole thing for someone else. It's ridiculous.
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My dad earned a PhD in child psychology, learning behavioral psychology under Skinner. Anyone who knows about that will cringe at the idea of him teaching me violin, but that's what happened. It was very repetitive, and I hated it at first - playing each line ten times, then once from memory, then once with music, then from memory again, etc until the whole page is memorized... As I got older, though I grew to like it, especially when I got to harder/nicer pieces. Now I play violin and enjoy it, even if I don't take it as seriously as he'd like. I'm lucky in that he knew how much he could push me and not go overboard. Just to add, what I like about violin is the possibilities I have to write new songs, or make an arrangement for anything I hear. My dad has this crazy system that says before I play what I want, I should first do the Vivaldi A minor, then the Vivaldi G major (god I hate that, it's burned in my brain), then the Mozart g major, then the Bach A minor, etc... until eventually you get to the Saint Saens, Bartok, etc... Now I have the freedom to actually choose what I like and practice that instead. The lady who hates the piano has a valid gripe, I know a concert principal cellist who retired and refuses to touch the thing. Too much emphasis on perfectionism can do that. But I think that lady never stopped to think of the possibilities that opened up for her.
With Kieron, according to the story I read, he just up and started, and was encouraged. I don't think his parents are forcing him. I was surprised to see so much about this. First I heard of Kieron was an article in a national Slovak magazine, translated into Slovak! Seems like the press all over the globe needed a feel good story and Kieron fit the bill.
Last edited by TASmith; December 21st, 2009 at 02:41 PM.
As a kid my parents forced me to play tennis nonstop, mostly because the thought it would be better if i did something that might earn me a future than be at home with a sitter. So after being forced to play tennis till i was 18 or so i was on my way to getting a scholar ship. but i hated it, i truly hated the game at that time. Plus i was getting wrist, back and hip injuries all time from playing and practicing so much. so i ended up rejecting the scholarship and pursuing art instead.
But even now i miss playing tennis and staying in shape all the time. but Art is still my passion.
But on the other hand i'm so jealous that this kids started in art at such a young age, if only my parents would of made me do art instead of tennis!!
Let's say your dad was living as goldsmith in the 1400's.
And he has this son he wants to become a goldsmith.
You can bet he would teach his son as much as possible and force him to make long hours. Why? Because when you are not successful you cannot make a living. The same for almost every other profession around.
Fast forward to today (western society).
Parents often don't force their children into a profession.
They sometimes force them in other fields (sports is a good example).
And they will tell them certain professions are better than others. In some sub-cultures you only really count if you have a degree and a job as dentist, doctor, lawyer or something like that.
But even though we do ok as society (we think) we have a massive amount of unhappy people. All the freedom in the world and depressed? Pharma industry is huge and that's not because all people in Africa have psychological problems... Even children are not free from this.
You know what I think?
I think choice is bad. Not choice between A and B. People can handle that. But choice between many options. People are not trained anymore to be excellent at one thing, they are trained to be average at a lot of things.
Look at Sepulverture's pianoplayer.
She can do what others cannot. Being very good at playing the piano can open a world that is closed to many others. Still she hates it.
You know what I think. She's acting like a spoiled little kid.
It's easy to say from a forced position that you should have more choices.
If I had not ..... I could have ....
Choices, choices, choices. However, when she didn't play the piano, would she be where she is today? Or would she work in the same restaurants in the kitchen, cleaning dishes? Would she be happy with that?
It seems a hard life when you are forced to do something you don't want to do. But you learn to make the best of it. I'm not sure if the opposite, having all choices and never really being forced to make one makes people happier or causes less psychological problems.
Let's assume children like Kieron do have some serious pressure from their parents. Would that be the same kind of pressure that this young goldsmith from the late 1400's got from his father?
And suppose such kids will never be more than just a goldsmith, but make a decent living, enough to support their family. Is that bad? Would they have been able to make the same kind of living without the pressure?
Remember, nowadays people buy whatever they please, you yourself said: "I think its a good indication of the Art intelligence level of the average believer of this BS."
That was not the case in those old days. You deliver quality and make a decent living or deliver nothing because you have no customers. Meaning no food on the table.
I really think that people should not complain about people 'forcing' their children to become more than average. Our society has enough average people already.
I agree with some of what you say, The_Jos, but the part about people "forcing" their children to do things i dont really agree with. I agree that it isn't all that outlandish when you put it in the context of history. People have done this throughout history, taught their children their profession, people teach sports to their kids etc. but i think in this day and age that is cool, but only if the kid is interested. If he or she absolutely doesn't want to do it, you can't force them.
Kids need to have a choice in the matter, they're people too, and left to their own wiles who knows what they are capable of? I mean, what if Michelangelo actually listened to his father who supposedly wanted him to be a businessman? That would have been one hell of a loss to the world, only to please an overbearing and controlling parent.
The kid is great now, but if his father did force him to do that and is exploiting his son then i'm sorry his dad is a piece of shit. Great art though! kudos to the boy.
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Because to her, playing piano is the same as washing dishes in terms of annoyance.
2) Early education makes people miserable. Picasso hated painting and drawing so much he created cubism and then continued on, taking the piss out of the entire art world.
3) and a lot of those average people contain those child prodigies because attaining a good level at an early age is much simpler than attaining something beyond human at a later age. Fading all those "made" prodigies into obscurity because they never wanted to learn beyond the basic lessonplan which they suffered through in their spare time.
The main thing someone needs to become inhuman with their skills is infinite willpower, and if you don't care about what your parents force on you, the child will remain slightly above mediocre and quit the second it can.
Losing all those years finding out their personal interests.
4) It's true, there are too many average people, but that's due to overpopulation, not incorrect parenting.
5) More socialism = more dumb people with money. It's more humane, but has downsides.
I guess my work wasn't at any level to go about calling myself a prodigy, but if I could do what I did and enjoy being that way as a child then I see no reason why these other kids can't have similar reasons for what they do. The fact that the kid's dad works in the industry doesn't necessarily mean that the kid is being forced to do what he does, but instead that he is lucky enough to have a place to draw inspiration from and an outlet for his work.
As was pointed out earlier, Picasso was a prodigy. (In my opinion his childhoold work is slightly overrated. Not saying its bad, just overrated.) It should also be pointed out that these famous artists were child prodigies as well:
I think that with a list like this, including some of the most famous visual artists musicians and writers in history, that it becomes very difficult to say "those kids will grow up hating their life before ever sticking to art."
the_jos, you're equating prosperity with happiness, which isn't necessarily true. And gifted or trained people may have something to offer to "average society"; which is fine for as long as they do so voluntarily. Those are kids however... hard to tell if their actions are their own consent or 'heavily influenced' by their parent.
?? with a list this short, its evident they're more of an exception than the rule. But I think you confused what I said, They wont hate their lives because they were great/prodigies and their parents encouraged them, not what I meant. They might, however, if their parent turns their skills into a profitable gimmick...Peter Coene I think that with a list like this, including some of the most famous visual artists musicians and writers in history, that it becomes very difficult to say "those kids will grow up hating their life before ever sticking to art."
an easy example since most of his life has been public... is the late M.Jackson, great singer since as a kid, obviously fueled by his dad's "encouragement"(scrutiny) and he did become rich and famous and he never quit music, but he was obviously screwed in the head.
the egg-head kid only started at the age of 5, and now at age 7 he's already in art galleries selling is work and he's already in the business of art which he couldn't possibly know about (unless he's a prodigy at that too). His dad being an art dealer however, is obviously pulling some strings. calling him the next Picasso is a nice gimmick to draw attention to him.
The story of the girl is much more obvious... The girl's dad is an artist, but that's barely mentioned in any article. Both parents were supposedly atheists, and the girl had a revelation from God who gave her the gift of art, and that convinced her parents to become religious... also the girl is homeschooled.
1st) Its easier to prove a child is a prodigy on things like music or math/chess, because they can do it right in front of you. Art however, only the final pieces are presented... it would help if an art teacher and classmates could confirm her skills, but she's homeschooled, so only her family are witnesses. Her art is very kitschy.... if an adult (...like her dad) made it, noone would care, but claim a 12yr old did it draws a lot more attention...
2nd) The religious stuff is a gimmick. There's no faster way to establish a large fanbase than through religion.... (the rumored best selling cartoonist for example, isnt that great but his cartoons are extracted from the bible). I dont know if her parents are real atheist liars profiting off of people's faith or if they are religious but pretended to be atheist... either way the whole story sounds like a hoax.
her little brother is even more obvious as a hoax... go to his website and watch the video of his philosophical poems... very bad acting...
based on what you and TAS said, sounds like your parents were encouraging you guys, and maybe also those prodigy artists in your list. But there's a fine line between encouraging a kid and profiting off of them to compensate for your own shortcomings.
Last edited by nauvice; November 30th, 2009 at 07:25 PM.
To suggest that this kid is being pushed against his will and/or will grow up to hate art just because his father works in the art business is as simple minded as suggesting that he'll become the future of art and fulfill their Picaso prophecy. I mean, maybe these things will happen, but I think you'd have to sit down and spend some time with the kid and the father to really form any opinion.
All I can say to that is that my mom and step-father are both artists. I was always encouraged but never forced. I love painting and I have zero regrets in pursuing art as a career and major part of my life. Maybe these kids will have similar stories and maybe not, but I'd rather think that they're good at these things because they like doing it and have parents who support them rather than that they're somehow being abused into being prodigies.
The only thing I infer from this kids father being an art dealer is that he's got the connections to promote him, but that doesn't put anyone automatically in the wrong in my opinion.
I kind of wish my parents would have encouraged me a little more. I always wanted to play sports but we never had any money and I was never encouraged to try out for anything in school(sports or music.) When it came to art they thought I was very good, but they were really apathetic about everything. I wouldn't want them to force me into things, but I do wish they were a bit more involved. I remember wanting to get singing lessons when I was 12 and they didn't care enough to help me find a teacher. It wasn't until I sang during a talent show when I was 19 that people told me I sounded really 'professional' and that I should make a career out of it. D'oh, that one kind of set me back to really rethink myself. On top of that, several times I wanted to do martial arts, tried to find places on my own, but my parents would always lag behind and I'd never get in seeing as they had the money. And for art they never did anything except buy me sketchbooks for Christmas.
So I think there needs to be a balance because I feel like I missed out a lot simply because there wasn't enough interest in my needs. Forcing your kid to do something is wrong, but encouraging them is a good idea. I'm pretty sure if I was encouraged a little more from my parents I would have had better self esteem for my art and other things. Still, it's not entirely their fault either or at all. It's just something I kind of wished would happen. My childhood feels really boring.
That said, I don't know this kid or what his dad is doing. My biological father is an artist, but it doesn't mean he pushed me to do art.
However, the list I provided was to show the cream of the crop; I was going for quality, not quantity. Every one of those artists is not just good, but one of the immediate names that comes to mind when it comes to the style/genre that they epitomized.
I could have provided a much longer list of successful prodigies, but I figured that nobody needed the tldr, and I didn't feel like doing the copypasta for that many links.
yeah haha the rest is baseless accusations, maybe Im a bit cynical, but I don't think either kid, especially the 2 I mentioned, will fit under your list as adults. Hope their parents dont spend all of their money garnered from their 15 minutes of fame.
Balance is the key to anything. Once a kid shows signs of resenting the skill they're being forced to learn that's a cue for the parents to lighten up and let the kid take the reigns for a while.
If half the parents of the children I teach paid even the smallest amount of attention to their childrens feelings instead of just their grade point average they would realize that their kids to have innate abilities, or at least preferential abilities and THESE could be the focus of their skill development.
I also wish my parents had shown a modicum of interest in what I was doing as a kid, and pushed me in that direction a little, but not much resentment for their not having done so, but again the point that balance should be attained so that children can grow up as more well rounded individuals being able to go into adulthood with a well developed skill-set, as well as the social and emotional skills that one learns through typical childhood experiences.