Artist’s Captivating Work Earns Her First Solo Museum Show at Just 9 Years Old
Nine-year-old Aelita Andre has been painting since before she could walk. In 2007, the then 9-month-old was in the room where her father, Michael Andre, was painting. Much to her parents’ chagrin (they feared she would put the paints in her mouth), Aelita crawled over to the painting supplies. However instead of acting like a child would generally be expected to, the baby began moving the paint around the canvas, mixing the colors.
Nearly a decade later, her father recalled the day to ABC News.
“It was really fascinating to watch this creative process unfold in front of me,” said Andre. “When I got up and looked at this square canvas, I kind of switched my whole perception of what she had done, from a child dabbling in paints, to actually admiring the completed work.”
As the girl grew, her work became deeper and more complex. She describes her current work as a mixture of various inspirations from her life.
“My animals inspire me, some of my movies,” said Aelita. “I don’t watch cartoonish sorts of movies. I don’t like that babyish films. Documentaries inspire me. The cosmos inspires me as well. Because it’s a really amazing, magical place.”
The girl’s work gained early outside attention after her mother, Nikka Kalashnikova, anonymously brought samples to a local gallery in the family’s native Australia. The curator of the gallery, knowing nothing about who Aelita was, nor Kalashnikova’s relationship to her, was impressed enough with the work to exhibit it.
Since that first 2008 show, Aelita’s work has been displayed in many of the world’s art meccas, including Hong Kong, Italy, and New York City. Her latest show, entitled “Music of the Infinite,” is currently running in St. Petersburg’s historic Russian Academy of Fine Arts and Music.
Though the massive success she’s found as a child may be hard to replicate as her life goes on, the youngster is committed to continue painting no matter what.
“I want to paint for the rest of my life. I never want to stop painting,” said Andre.
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