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October 08, 2007

Marla Omstead - The 4 Year Old Picasso

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 10/08/2007 01:04:00 PM

I was fascinated to learn about Marla Omstead who paints like Picasso, except she's just 4 years old. Child prodigies are quite fascinating because they appear to have no experience to back up their talents and gifts, yet they excel in what they do. If art doesn't get you excited, then money will. Marla's art is viewable only on her website MarlaOmstead.com and she has sold her paintings for tens of thousands of dollars. It's so interesting that filmmakers made a film about it.

"The only venue to see her art work is a Web site. ... As far as us being here today, it's really just because we feel like we don't want 'My Kid Could Paint That' to be the last true and only word about our family."

It all sounds good. Except she maybe a pretender. Her dad is a painter - and a plant manager at Frito-Lay, the potato chip company - yes. When Snow asked Olmstead if he ever helped his daughter paint the pictures, he responded, "I think we should define help. I do have to be involved, and I have, because she is -- was -- a one-year-old, two-year-old, three-year-old. And I help her by priming the canvas, by lifting her up over the canvas when she was younger so she could reach certain points, doing the edges, helping her with the paints themselves, as far as getting them in ketchup bottles. From that standpoint, yes, I help."

I hate to be a doubter or a basher but you have to wonder how much of it is real. Even the documentary maker expresses his doubts - at the very end of the film!

"As soon as my doubts reached a point where they were strong enough that it wouldn't have been right to keep them from the Olmsteads, I told them and that's the climax of the film," he said.

Her mom, Laura, has an emotional moment at the end of the film, where she says to Bar-Lev, "I need you to believe me."

You can't blame Marla's parents for wanting to believe their kid is special. However, the film leaves everyone hanging at the end: Is Marla a pretender?

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