Toddler fools the art world into buying his tomato ketchup paintings

By donmc, 20 March, 2008

I love this article - my view is that the age of the artist is irrelevant - go to the Link to see the 50+ comments - many of which are gloating about the poke in the eye for the "Art Critics" of the world...

To the untrained eye, they appear to be simple daubs that could have been created by a two year old. Which is precisely what they are.

But that didn't stop the supposed experts falling over themselves to acclaim them.

The toddler in question is Freddie Linsky, who has fooled the art world into buying and asking to exhibit his paintings.

Freddie's efforts, which include works using tomato ketchup composed while sitting on his high chair, were posted by his mother Estelle Lovatt on collector Charles Saatchi's online gallery.

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The toddler with some of his creations: Freddie is said to favour the 'spot and blotch' technique

She claimed her son was an art critic and and a familiar face at major exhibitions, and added ludicrously overblown captions to his offerings.

One creation of random red and green splodges called Sunrise was captioned: "A bold use of colour. Inspired by the 'plein air' habit of painting by Monet, drawing on the natural world that surrounds us all."

And his black scrawlings in a work entitled The Best Loved Elephant are captioned:

"The striking use of oriental calligraphy has the kanji-like characters stampeding from the page, showing the new ascent of the East. It is one of Linsky's most experimental works."

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Two-year-old Freddie has recently progressed from ketchup to oils on canvas

Freddie is said to favour the "spot and blotch" technique pioneered by the American abstract expressionism movement in the 1950s.

The young artist is said on Saatchi Online to have "dedicated his whole life to art".

His mother wrote: "Freddie W R Linsky paints over and over, making us curious to know what is going on.

"It seems that one stroke is being repeated - the same stroke or one very close to it, hence the possibility of the infinite opening up of the structure of time."

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According to mother Estelle, Freddie has been able to hold a paintbrush since he was eight months old

Freddie's mother, a lecturer at Hampstead School of Art and a freelance art critic, said she never dreamt anyone would be duped by her over-the-top descriptions.

But a Manchester artist and collector paid £20 for one of Freddie's works and a gallery in Berlin wanted him to showcase his talents.

She said: "Freddie has been coming with me to galleries since he was three months old. and from eight months he was dipping his fingers into paint and able to hold a brush loosely.

"He sits on his high chair with a piece of paper and gets very excited at the mess he gets to make.

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Freddie gets very excited about the mess he is allowed to make when painting

He has progressed from ketchup to acrylics on paper or canvas. I wondered whether the art world would be encouraging or dismissive if I showed his work online.

"I thought people would figure it out. But a collector paid £20 for The Best Loved Elephant. He said he liked the flow and energy of the picture.

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Artist at work: Freddie Linsky

"A gallery in Berlin emailed, saying they were having an exhibition and thought Freddie's work was of a high standard and would like him to participate.

"I wrote on his behalf thanking them and asked them to let us know how their plans progress. They still don't know he's only two."

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The Best Loved Elephant: It was sold for £20

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Sunrise: Described as being 'inspired by Monet'