|Art gallery fooled by toddler's work|
09:00 AEST Thu Jan 8 2009
A Melbourne gallery has reportedly been fooled into showing the artwork of a toddler.
Fitzroy gallery director Mark Jamieson judged the vivid paintings of Aelita Andre good enough to feature in his Brunswick Street Gallery after it was recommended by Russian-born photographer Nikka Kalashnikova, The Age has reported.
Jamieson featured the abstract work in magazine advertisements to promote the show, and was later stunned to find out that Aelita was in fact just 22 months old and Ms Kalashnikova was her mother.
"I was shocked and, to be honest, a little embarrassed," Mr Jamieson was quoted as saying.
"And then I thought, 'Well, we'll give it a go'."
Aelita's mother denies she played a joke on the gallery, saying she wanted the talents of her daughter, who turns two tomorrow, to be judged on their merits.
"Of course, every mother is proud of their child," Ms Kalashnikova said.
"I didn't tell him [Jamieson] because I had all these feelings going through my head — fear, embarrassment."
Aelita's father, Michael Andre, is also an artist and says his daughter began painting before she could walk.
"[Her art] immediately leapt out as a defined representation of something in an abstract form," Mr Andre said.
Aelita's paintings are priced between $350 and $2000.