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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Post-Impressionist Pre-Adolescent Painter Buys a House With His Art Earnings

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This week, the Picturecraft Gallery in Norfolk, England will show an exhibition of skilled drawings and traditional landscapes expected to bring in the the amounts typically allotted to an established, mid-career artist. Their author does not yet know how to add fractions. Having already established himself in the market for precocious art-makers, the nine-year-old Kieron Williamson has already earned enough from his work to buy his parents a house in Ludham, England. The home, formerly a 19th century bank, will remain in trust until the boy’s eighteenth birthday.

Nicknamed the “Mini-Monet” in the press, Williamson’s first exhibition at a commercial gallery sold out in fourteen minutes of opening. The last exhibition before his show at the Pictureframe included 30 paintings that were sold within half an hour, for a total of £150,000 ($237,000). Gallery owner Adrian Hill has called the young man’s work “unrivaled,” contending that “there isn’t any other child out there who can paint as well in three different media – watercolor, oil, and pastel. His grasp of  the technical elements really is a wonderful thing.”

While enjoying the admiration of art collectors from all over the world, the polite and soft-spoken Williamson has been guarded by his parents from over-exposure. A paragraph from the artist’s proprietary Web site lists soccer and video games among his interests outside of art.

— Reid Singer

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