Four year old Marla Olmstead from Binghamton, New York became the sensation of the art world for her abstract artwork, which have sold for thousands of dollars per piece. The showing of her work started off as a lark, but when the paintings sold without the buyers knowing who the artist was, the media began to run with the story. Through it all, Marla's parents, Mark Olmstead and Laura Olmstead, want to be grounded in what is best for their daughter while exposing her to whatever positive may come from the experience. But some negative and big name media also surfaces, some questioning whether Marla is the real artist behind the work, and some questioning exposing a four year old to such infamy. Regardless, the fact of this art selling brings up the legitimacy of abstract art being quantified as "quality", especially if a four year old can produce it but can't express the emotions or rationale behind its creation. Or is art truly in the eyes of the beholder? Regardless, money, in the ...Written by
All writers, all storytellers, are imposing their own narrative on something. I mean, all art in some ways is a lie. It looks like a picture of something, but it isn't that thing, it's a representation of that thing... Your documentary is itself going to be a lie. It's a construction of things, it's how you wish to represent the truth and how you've decided to tell a particular story. By that I don't mean that certain things don't happen. Of course they do. It's not that there is no such thing ...
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Excellent, absorbing documentary about a 4 year old whose abstract paintings sell for tens of thousands of dollars,
The film starts as a portrait of a prodigy, but as the film-maker admits via narration, as the filming went along, and especially after a "60 Minutes" piece aired that made it look like the girl was getting help from her father, the focus of the film switched to new, and much more interesting (and troubling) questions.
Are they really the paintings of a child? What makes abstract art great and not just a child's scribble? Are these parents miss-using their child, or encouraging her talents?
The film leaves a lot of unanswered questions, which I far prefer to forced conclusions. But even more, I liked the way it made me ponder the nature of art and creativity itself.
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