He may still be a toddler, but Advait Kolarkar is already a name to watch among young artists today.

Advait, a 4-year-old from Canada, is being called an artistic prodigy by some critics for his abstract paintings. Earlier this year, Advait became the youngest artist to have his work displayed at New York’s ArtExpo in 40 years.

In a segment for the BBC, Advait’s mother said his interest in art was apparent from a very early age. “Advait was eight, nine months old when he picked up a brush,” Shruti Kolarkar told the network. “We could not believe that he was creating those competitions. He had that direction, he had that intention and he knew exactly where he wants to go and lead himself to the result.”

Born in Pune, India, Advait and his parents moved to New Brunswick, Canada, two years ago. On his official website, his parents wrote of how Advait’s sharp observation skills were clear early on. “He would keenly gaze at black objects – wardrobes and curtains – an observation that soon turned into demand,” they wrote. “His first few paintings are of black strokes.”

Advait’s paintings have sold for thousands of dollars and he has already had three exhibitions of his work. But as one art historian told the BBC, it is very difficult to predict whether artists who are successful as children will continue to do so as adults.

"Pink Fire" by Advait Kolarkar
Advait Kolarkar’s painting “Pink Fire.” Advait Kolarkar’s official website

Advait’s parents insist that his future plans are entirely up to him.

“If he is very comfortable with normal schooling and he is still able to paint, we’ll continue with that,” his mother said. “We just want to see where he is happy.”

Related coverage: Why We’re Vibing With the Vibrant art of Fatemah Baig

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