He does‘is only 10 years old, but the young American Andres Valencia is an accomplished painter. His works sometimes sell for tens or even hundreds of thousands of euros. Here is his journey.
He was nicknamed ” the Prodigy “or “Little Picasso”. Andres Valencia is a young painter American whose works have sold in recent months at rather high prices. In June 2022, all the paintings he exhibited at the Chase Contemporary gallery in New York found buyers: 35 works in all, which traded between 50,000 and 125,000 dollars (about the same amounts in euros). Another painting sold for €230,000 at a charity auction held in Capri, Italy in July. So far, it’s the story of a contemporary art painter who has met with some success, as there are many in the world. Except that Andres Valencia is only 10 years old!
From his parents’ dining room to the exhibitions
The little boy started drawing at 4 years old. At the time, her parents watched her dabble in paper for hours in the dining room of their home in San Diego, California. He practiced reproducing a work by the contemporary American artist RETNA, a former client of his lawyer father. “I brought him paper and he sat there trying to copy it, explains the dad, Guadalupe Valencia, to the American daily The New York Times in an article spotted by the magazine International mail . It took him two years. »
The passion quickly turns into a small business: the child sells watercolors to members of his family for around twenty dollars. Sometimes a man visits the family, a certain Bernie Chase, owner of the gallery of the same name in New York. And it is his intervention that will transform Andres Valencia’s hobby into lucrative artistic work.
One day, he offers the little painter to buy one of his works for 100 dollars. The boy bids, he wants 5,000. And Bernie Chase accepts! Initially, this approach irritates Andres’ mother, Elsa Valencia, a psychologist. But the gallery owner decides to buy several paintings executed by the child, in order to convince his parents to allow him to “sharing his talent with the world”, as he says himself in The New York Times.
Then, Bernie Chase uses his network: the man contacts a certain Nick Korniloff, director of Art Miami, a major contemporary art fair which takes place in the American city of the same name. Andres Valencia is exhibited there in 2021. Rather wealthy personalities, endowed with a certain celebrity, buy his works. Among these buyers: Jordan Belfort, ex-stock broker, who inspired Martin Scorsese for his film The wolf of Wall Street…
“He paints after school or on weekends”
Over the course of the sales, the boy acquired a growing reputation, so that his paintings now sell for tens or even hundreds of thousands of euros. His parents have since hired experienced communicators to support the career of their prodigal offspring.
Experts interviewed by The New York Times they evoke a “speculative frenzy” around the young painter. And the specialized media Artnet wonders about “obsession with youth” of the art world, in an article dedicated to Andres Valencia.
The little boy continues to paint. Sometimes influenced by current events. In particular, he produced a work inspired by the famous painting Guernica of Picasso, but against a backdrop of war in Ukraine.
And on a daily basis, what is the life of a 10-year-old child whose paintings sell for hundreds of thousands of euros? “We want him to go to school like a normal child, explains his father to the British daily The Times . He paints after school or on weekends, but he also plays with his friends. For us, as parents, the most important thing is that he likes what he does. »