The Telegraph’s Peter Stanford spends a little time with Kieron Williamson, the UK art prodigy who has had two sold out shows of his work. Stanford finds an intense but normal 7-year-old boy whose parents are concerned that people understand he really makes the paintings himself. The boy has been working under the tutelage of a local artist, Carol Pennington:
“Kieron had lots of energy,” Pennington recalls, “and was a bit cooped up in their flat, so I suggested in the holidays he spend an hour with me in the mornings. One task I set him was to mix different shades of grey. If you asked an adult, even an adult who liked painting, they might manage half a dozen or so, but Kieron came up with 25 and he remembered exactly how he mixed them, and knew where he wanted to use them in his paintings. It was extraordinary.”
Child prodigies are more common in music and drama than fine art, but either way the transition to adulthood can be a tough one. For every John Everett Millais, admitted to the Royal Academy at 11, there are Jan Lievens, the 17th-century Dutch landscape artist who, as a 12-year-old, eclipsed his classmate Rembrandt, but saw their roles reversed as an adult. And accomplished as Kieron’s paintings are, part of their appeal is undoubtedly the story of precocious talent that goes with them. If he is still doing similar work when he’s 25, it may prompt a different reaction.
Is Kieron Britain’s Most Exciting Painter? (Telegraph)