Aelita Andre is four years old.
She’s also a Russian abstract painter who has already been compared to Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Jackson Pollack. Art critics have praised her work for its use of the techniques of “automatism” and “accidentalism,” branches of surrealist art. She had her first show when she was one year old and has another show in New York on June 4.
But what’s also admirable about Andre as a child prodigy is that it doesn’t appear that she’s being forced to do something she doesn’t love, like a tennis star who burns out by 14. Nor is she filled with anxiety while plying her craft, like chess champion Bobby Fischer, who later became known for his angry outburts.
Anyone who watches Andre paint can tell she loves to fling the colors onto the canvas. She loves to tell stories while she works. She even periodically yells “kist, kist!” (the Russian word for paintbrush).
Watch Andre as she paints: