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Old 2nd January 2007, 12:30 AM   #1
greyleonard
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Akiane Kramarik - Child painter who paints God and her parents.

http://www.artakiane.com/home.htm

I think it sucks for the 12 year old artists who have more talent than her but don't exploit faith to make a buck. I first saw her on Oprah about a year ago, and searched for some skeptical info about her and found nothing. I still find nothing.

Here's my email communication with them:

Hi, I'm wondering if there is evidence to share that shows that Akiane painted the pieces attributed to her on artakiane.com.

THE BEGINNING TO END OR IN BETWEEN VIDEOS TELEVESION SHOWS AND DOCUMENTARIES USE ALL THE TIME.

AKIANE HAS BEEN WATCHED AS SHE PAINTS BY MANY.
IN THE FUTURE A FEW OF THEM WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC USE

AKIANE GALLERY
208-773-2090


Can you tell me where I can find a beginning to end video, please?

AT OUR GALLERY

Where is that?

PRIVATE ARCHIVES OF AKIANE GALLERY, IDAHO

You said "TELEVESION SHOWS AND DOCUMENTARIES USE" the beginning to end videos all the time. Which television shows and documentaries have used them?

IT IS CONFIDENCIAL

The name of the television shows and documentaries is confidential?
That doesn't make sense.

WE WRITE A CONTRACT OF CONFIDENTIALITY WITH TV SHOW SABOUT MANY THINGS
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Old 2nd January 2007, 01:40 AM   #2
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I have my doubts that she paints the pictures. And in fact, here are a couple of interesting letters (particularly the second):

http://fagistan.blogspot.com/2006/11...n-to-pray.html
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Old 2nd January 2007, 02:17 AM   #3
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Take a look at this photo of Akiane.

How old is she at this time?

More like 11 than 8, right?

Yet, she painted this painting when she was 8...
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Old 2nd January 2007, 02:19 AM   #4
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The Idaho Connection

When the local news did a story about Akiane and her art, I thought "that's one creepy kid."
I don't know if it's normal or not, but you would have to pay to get into her gallery, just to look around. It might have been open just for the holidays. I'll try to find out more Tuesday during the day.
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Old 2nd January 2007, 05:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Haywire View Post
When the local news did a story about Akiane and her art, I thought "that's one creepy kid."
I don't know if it's normal or not, but you would have to pay to get into her gallery, just to look around. It might have been open just for the holidays. I'll try to find out more Tuesday during the day.
No, that's not normal. The galleries are usually dying to get people to come in. Paying to get to see her paintings is not a gallery, that's an art exhibition.

What do you think about the photo? How old is she?
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Old 2nd January 2007, 05:50 AM   #6
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(She's been discussed from a different angle in this thread.)
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Old 2nd January 2007, 05:59 AM   #7
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I hadn't looked at her work chronologically before - however (and I have to stress that this is based on the rather low res and small images on her site) there does seem a huge leap in both technique and a change of style between the pictures from Age 7 to age 8 - for instance look at the lion at Age 7 and the tiger at age 8.

Nothing that makes me leap-up and shout "cheat" or "fraud" especially given the changes in ability children do go through.
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Old 2nd January 2007, 06:31 AM   #8
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I predict this story will not have a happy ending.

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Old 2nd January 2007, 09:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
I predict this story will not have a happy ending.

~~ Paul
I'm afraid Paul is right.

The criticisms of this girl I have read are true - you need time to develop your skill. By the time you have lived to be 9, there just hasn't been enough time go by to get in all the practice you need. I know, I am an artist, and started drawing when I was 2. My abilities were always far beyond my peers - but still. A lot of it has to do with skill.

I have a feeling the mother is involved, as the link that RSLancaster supplied says.
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Old 2nd January 2007, 09:42 AM   #10
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I won't discount the possibility of her being quite gifted, as I've had the privilege to meet children in the past who have been remarkably talented in certain artforms. However, it being such an extraordinary claim, I would expect some sort of proof, such as the supposed beggining to end taped sessions. (And why would those supporting this not make those tapes readily available? It would settle things fairly quickly...)

Regardless of whether she paints them herself or not, I think it's safe to say her mother is playing the major role here, and if/when it all comes crashing down, it's Akiane who's going to be the victim.
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Old 2nd January 2007, 01:46 PM   #11
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Easy enough to prove.

Put her in a secure room with credible witness (and a video camera) and have her create a painting without any outside influence.

Of course there's the possibility that her creative talents may freeze up under pressure similar to what happened to Uri Gellar on The Tonight Show.
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Old 2nd January 2007, 02:02 PM   #12
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She can't drive, and she isn't old enough to have a credit card, or live alone, so she can't buy paints! Of course her parents help her. The whole "locked room" test would be pretty much pointless. What would you say if Mom told her what to do? Mixed her colors? Made suggestions? Touched up sloppy brushwork? Sketched? Made comments? She obviously learned to paint by copying Mom's technique exactly.

I wouldn't be shocked if Rembrandt and Da Vinci had "help" also. Yeah, it's probably a lot more help in this kid's case, and maybe someone with a calculator and a stopwatch might declare the paintings are more than 50% mom, but that's sort of beside the point. All I see is a lot of crummy art. The child exploitation angle is pure ick.
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Old 2nd January 2007, 02:16 PM   #13
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I hate how Oprah is so uncritical of people on her show. Heck...most TV is like that. It's so annoying. Espeically with Montel having Sylvia Browne on etc. etc...

Anyone find out if Akiane's mom, dad or relatives are artists? I think that'd solve this rather quickly.
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Old 2nd January 2007, 02:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DiskoVilante View Post
Anyone find out if Akiane's mom, dad or relatives are artists? I think that'd solve this rather quickly.
According to the emails quoted in the blog I linked to above, her mother was known to have painted very similar works.
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Old 2nd January 2007, 02:47 PM   #15
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so, a kid can paint a velvet painting of Barry Manilow, big deal, I've known a few talented youngsters before.

Doesn't make it art, though.
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Old 2nd January 2007, 02:51 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ChristineR View Post
She can't drive, and she isn't old enough to have a credit card, or live alone, so she can't buy paints! Of course her parents help her. The whole "locked room" test would be pretty much pointless. What would you say if Mom told her what to do? Mixed her colors? Made suggestions? Touched up sloppy brushwork? Sketched? Made comments? She obviously learned to paint by copying Mom's technique exactly.

I wouldn't be shocked if Rembrandt and Da Vinci had "help" also. Yeah, it's probably a lot more help in this kid's case, and maybe someone with a calculator and a stopwatch might declare the paintings are more than 50% mom, but that's sort of beside the point. All I see is a lot of crummy art. The child exploitation angle is pure ick.
I'm sure we could provide her with some paints before locking the door.

But seriously, as Mr. Randi would say it would be up to her to tell us what she can do and under what conditions she could do it. I think touching up sloppy work and sketching might be problematic. Where does the responsibilties of the assistant end and those of the painter begin? Well before 50%.
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Old 2nd January 2007, 03:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by DiskoVilante View Post
Anyone find out if Akiane's mom, dad or relatives are artists? I think that'd solve this rather quickly.
Yeah, according to one of the accounts in RSL's link:
Quote:
Firstly, her mother is a painter in very much the same vein. In fact, one of the paintings on Akiane's website is virtually identical to a piece which was hanging in their living room, and was represented to us as being created by Ferelli. Also, Ferelli was avidly searching for a model for a portrait of Jesus that SHE wanted to paint.
I don't see how it solves it though.

Edit: whoops, RSL beat me to it.

Last edited by The Mad Hatter; 2nd January 2007 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 2nd January 2007, 06:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by DiskoVilante View Post
I hate how Oprah is so uncritical of people on her show.
She did have one of those ADCers on and the performance went so badly that Oprah has never had another one on her show.
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Old 3rd January 2007, 01:22 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post
According to the emails quoted in the blog I linked to above, her mother was known to have painted very similar works.
Noooooooooooooooooooo.............

Really????
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Old 3rd January 2007, 02:38 AM   #20
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The first time I heard of her I recall thinking that it sounded like she wasn't painting them herself. Something about her making reporters leave the room because she couldn't paint while someone was watching, even though she supposedly paints while non-reporters are watching all the time. The cheesy stories are a bit over the top too; about how she, when she was nearly still a todler, converted her family over to Christianity. And if they're willing to tell a lie like that to boost sales then their obviously scam artists.
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Old 3rd January 2007, 02:52 AM   #21
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Well, I called the 208 area code phone number in the OP and the downtown Boise "gallery" was open just for the holidays. If she has any more shows in town I'll let everybody know.
Also, I was told to have "a blessed day," which I think is also creepy.
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Old 3rd January 2007, 07:43 AM   #22
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I was in school with someone who could draw that well, although probably not aged 8. I wouldn't be at all surprised if she really did paint the pictures, especially if she has had support from artistic parents. They may be religious nuts, but she seems to be a very talented artist who deserves recognition a lot more than most of the modern artists around.
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Old 3rd January 2007, 07:26 PM   #23
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"Akiane - The Girl Who Paints God and her parents."

Doesn't it irritate them to be painted?
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Old 4th January 2007, 03:19 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Elizabeth I View Post
"Akiane - The Girl Who Paints God and her parents."

Doesn't it irritate them to be painted?
I guess it depends whether she sands between coats.
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Old 4th January 2007, 04:23 PM   #25
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If the paintings are authentic..ie created by the daughter, not the mother, then the skill and technique are amazing for a child.

Beyond the technique, the works, as seen through my eyes, are hollow, sentimental, and just plain crappy.

Compare the portrait of Jesus below with a couple of Rembrandts. It could be argued that her ability to mimick reality is on par or better than the celebrated Dutch master; but as works of art...

edited to add-I picked the portrait of Jesus because I think it is the painting that comes closest to being good art.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg jesus.jpg (6.6 KB, 844 views)
File Type: jpg rvr.jpg (15.8 KB, 827 views)
File Type: jpg rvr2.jpg (3.2 KB, 815 views)
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Old 4th January 2007, 05:06 PM   #26
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She did make him look like Barry Manilow
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Old 4th January 2007, 05:12 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Raphael View Post
If the paintings are authentic..ie created by the daughter, not the mother, then the skill and technique are amazing for a child.

Beyond the technique, the works, as seen through my eyes, are hollow, sentimental, and just plain crappy.

Compare the portrait of Jesus below with a couple of Rembrandts. It could be argued that her ability to mimick reality is on par or better than the celebrated Dutch master; but as works of art...

edited to add-I picked the portrait of Jesus because I think it is the painting that comes closest to being good art.
A good illustrator is not equal to a good artist. She does, however, seem to be exceptionally skilled example of the the former - if she really painted them.
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Old 4th January 2007, 05:26 PM   #28
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Of course, the other question is, even if she did paint these herself, so what? Just because she's a prodigy doesn't mean Gpd exists, or there's any reason to worship him.

Marc
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Old 5th January 2007, 02:59 AM   #29
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She is not a prodigy espeicially later on when other gifted artists will catch up in technical skill. Technical skill if you're in teh art world is a dime-a dozen but there is somethign that separates the best from the mediocre. And her work looks like stale paintings taken from photos and added with wrong color choices to make any more appealing anywhere close to a Rembrandt.

At her age her art lacks any kind of expression that is her own, other than what is indoctrinated to her by her parents and dogmatic belief system, and it is not really visually impressive to me at all, now the type of work I would consider impressive owuld come from most of hte classical masters ex: Degas, Michaelangelo, and other I forget. For example my favorite would be the work of Craig Mullins.

http://www.goodbrush.com

Sorry for sounding snooty, but i'm kind of an 'artist' myself.

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Old 17th January 2007, 05:04 AM   #30
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Thanks for the replies, guys.

It's good to know there's more skepticism on the record out there that I wasn't aware of.
I'm an artist, and the corny nature of the pics bothers the hell out of me, too.
It's infuriating that people are spending so much money on this crap.
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Old 17th January 2007, 06:23 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by greyleonard View Post
It's good to know there's more skepticism on the record out there that I wasn't aware of.
I'm an artist, and the corny nature of the pics bothers the hell out of me, too.
It's infuriating that people are spending so much money on this crap.
Why wouldn't they? They spend money on this crap, don't they?
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Old 17th January 2007, 07:02 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
Why wouldn't they? They spend money on this crap, don't they?
No reason. That's damn infuriating, too.
(someone at DU also pointed out the "painter of light" thing)
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Old 17th January 2007, 07:40 AM   #33
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I am also sceptical about the artistic claims but also the claims that she is the "only known child binary genius, in both realist painting and poetry". Having read some of her poetry, at least the small amount they don't want money for, and the descriptions of the paintings it seems highly unlikely.

Much of the painting seems more likely to end up on a collector's plate than in an exhibition of artistic genius.

It certainly seems that despite Akiane's alleged comments that she wants to "share her love for God and people around the world" the main point of the site appears to be generating revenue for her parents.
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Old 17th January 2007, 06:27 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Paul View Post
I am also sceptical about the artistic claims but also the claims that she is the "only known child binary genius, in both realist painting and poetry".
I would highly doubt that, even if you were to call her poetry "genius", many modern techincal definitions of genius don't count you as one unless you can excel in more then one area.
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Old 17th January 2007, 11:08 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by CaptainManacles View Post
many modern techincal definitions of genius don't count you as one unless you can excel in more then one area.
Hence their claim that she excels in both painting and poetry.
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Old 18th January 2007, 02:58 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Paul View Post
Hence their claim that she excels in both painting and poetry.
Hence it's idiotic that the website suggests she's somehow the only child on the planet ever to be a genius in more then one area.
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Old 18th January 2007, 04:32 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by CaptainManacles View Post
Hence it's idiotic...
Quite, and yet another reason to err on the side of caution in regard to the totality of their claims.
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Old 7th May 2007, 11:03 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I hadn't looked at her work chronologically before - however (and I have to stress that this is based on the rather low res and small images on her site) there does seem a huge leap in both technique and a change of style between the pictures from Age 7 to age 8 - for instance look at the lion at Age 7 and the tiger at age 8.

Nothing that makes me leap-up and shout "cheat" or "fraud" especially given the changes in ability children do go through.
There is nothing odd about that, especially if she is a prodigy. I'm not saying that she is, but this wouldn't indicate anything.

A rapid growth in ability would be par for the course, and from my own experience as an artist, I remember rapid improvements and variation in my artwork from one piece to another, withing weeks.
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Old 7th May 2007, 11:32 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Malachi151 View Post
There is nothing odd about that, especially if she is a prodigy. I'm not saying that she is, but this wouldn't indicate anything.

A rapid growth in ability would be par for the course, and from my own experience as an artist, I remember rapid improvements and variation in my artwork from one piece to another, withing weeks.
Having done some realistic paintings in my youth, I'd agree.

However, her webpage regarding that Jesus portrait makes me wonder.

Let alone the ridiculous story how the model, "a humble carpenter" (!!), came to their house, I wonder why someone would make "dozens of sketches" and then produce nothing but the exact copy of a photograph?

Also, look at the amateurish sketch in picture #2. The quality of that sketch in no way matches the final painting.

There is something fishy about this, imho.
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Old 7th May 2007, 12:49 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
(She's been discussed from a different angle in this thread.)
I love that Tragic Monkey in post #2 says exactly what I thought when I first saw the paintings.

Originally Posted by ChristineR View Post
She can't drive, and she isn't old enough to have a credit card, or live alone, so she can't buy paints! Of course her parents help her. The whole "locked room" test would be pretty much pointless. What would you say if Mom told her what to do? Mixed her colors? Made suggestions? Touched up sloppy brushwork? Sketched? Made comments? She obviously learned to paint by copying Mom's technique exactly.

I wouldn't be shocked if Rembrandt and Da Vinci had "help" also. Yeah, it's probably a lot more help in this kid's case, and maybe someone with a calculator and a stopwatch might declare the paintings are more than 50% mom, but that's sort of beside the point. All I see is a lot of crummy art. The child exploitation angle is pure ick.
Actually, from the art history I've studied, just about all of the, "masters," had help. You were trained to be an artist by studying under a master artist. I forget the degrees to which the assistants would help, but at the very least, you can pretty much be guaranteed that not every single brush stroke was done by the master. I actually think that in certain cases, the work done by the assistants was much more substantial, however, I can neither quite remember nor can I find a source right now. Someone with a more substantial background in art history (I think the main thing I learned was that there are far, far, too many works of art about the Annunciation) might be able to clarify this better.
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