Having seen Amir Bar-Lev’s other work including The Pat Tillman Story, I was compelled to finally check out My Kid Could Paint That. The title of the documentary was interesting to me, even when all I knew about it was something about Marla Olmstead being a kid who paints similarly to Jackson Pollack.
But the film explores a lot of other topics – some about human nature, motivation and the art world. If you’ve seen Exit Through the Gift Shop, you’ll recognize some familiarities to the story here, but what was most interesting to me, was the perspective of what art is, who an artist is, and what is it’s place in our world today.
I think my favorite part of the film was hearing Michael Kimmelman speak about art (you can watch part of this on Artforum’s website). As the senior critic at the New York Times, I respect his point of view and enjoyed checking out the extras that had about 12 more minutes of interviews with him that weren’t included in the film.
When speaking about art Kimmelman has some great quotes like: “You can be moved by the beauty of an idea …” (in reference to art often being manifested in a tangible form – a sculpture, painting or photograph, for example – but ultimately representing ideas beautifully)
And he ends his interview in the “special features” on the DVD by saying: ”it’s the thing that we want most from it (art)..that there isn’t necessarily a single message that you’re gonna take from it that’s exhausted once you get it and you don’t need it again. It’s the kind of thing that remains open.”