Ontelly

My Kid Could Paint That


Documentary that gets to the heart of an extraordinary artworld cause célèbre. In the span of only a few months, 4-year-old Marla Olmstead rocketed from total obscurity into international renown - and sold over $300,000 dollars worth of paintings. She was compared to Kandinsky and Pollock, and called 'a budding Picasso'. Inside Edition, The Jane Pauley Show, and NPR did pieces on her, and The Today Show and Good Morning America got in a bidding war over an appearance by the bashful toddler. There was talk of corporate sponsorship with the family fielding calls from The Gap and Crayola. Then, five months into Marla's new life as a celebrity, and just short of her fifth birthday, a bombshell dropped. CBS's 60 Minutes aired an exposé suggesting strongly that the paintings were painted by her father, himself an amateur painter. As quickly as the public built Marla up, they tore her down. The New York Post asked whether 'the juvenile Jackson Pollock may actually be a full-fledged Willem de Frauding'. The Olmsteads were barraged with hate mail and ostracized, whilst sales of the paintings dried up and Marla's art dealer considered moving. Embattled, the Olmsteads themselves turned to a documentary filmmaker to clear their name.

Credits

  • Producer Richard Klein