With a tiny bit of “When did you stop beating your wife” defensiveness, Noah Horowitz explains why Aelita Andre, the child marketed as a serious artist, cannot be taken seriously:
An art world that has accepted, reluctantly or not, elephant dung (Chris Ofili), urine (Andy Warhol, Andres Serrano) and sheer nothingness (Yves Klein) as art has done so principally out of an appreciation for the artist’s agency: typically, what the artist has to say about society, and how this is materialized through the art. A lot of things might come from a young child, but reflection and reverence are not at the top of the list. Her reception as an artist with a capital “A” is stunted as a result, our attraction to her seeming to have more in common with the allure of the perverse tales that clutter the blogosphere (a cigarette-smoking 2-year-old providing a recent, if appalling, counterpoint) than any genuine engagement.
Given these reservations, perhaps it should come as no surprise that the Agora Gallery operates a pay-to-exhibit business, with artists (or their parents) contributing a minimum of $3,000 to show there. This approach might help ignite the media engine, but it hardly ensures that reputable critics and curators will take the work seriously. In fact, the explicit commercial mentality may be at odds with the elitist machinery that leading dealers deploy. Blue-chip galleries do not accept payments from artists to exhibit with them; they “represent” artists and “place” their work within established collections, and it’s no mistake, either, that prices are absent from the wall labels of today’s prestigious gallery spaces. Denial of commercial associations, after all, is the surest way to make something truly priceless.
Your Four-Year-Old Can’t Do That (New York Times)