Seven-Year-Old German Painter Creates Paintings Worth Thousands of Dollars

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. impressive / ɪmˈprɛs ɪv / (adj) – amazing and outstanding

    The audience gave the speaker a standing ovation for his impressive speech.

  2. notable / ˈnoʊ tə bəl / (adj) – memorable or worthy of attention

    The exhibit features paintings created by notable artists.

  3. gifted / ˈgɪf tɪd / (adj) – extremely talented and skillful at something

    He is a gifted writer. He wrote his first novel when he was 11.

  4. collaboration / kəˌlæb əˈreɪ ʃən / (n) – the act of working together with another person or a group of people

    The novel was a product of a collaboration between two writers.

  5. masterpiece / ˈmæs tərˌpis / (n) – a product of someone’s great talent or skill

    One of Michelangelo’s masterpieces is the Sistine Chapel.


Read the text below.

A seven-year-old boy from Germany caught the art industry’s attention for his impressive paintings that sold for thousands of dollars.

Mikail [MI-ka-il] Akar from Cologne [kuhLOHN], Germany, has been dubbed by the local media as the “preschool Picasso.” Akar’s artwork has been compared to the paintings of Jackson Pollock [POLuh k], a notable American artist of abstract expressionism. This art form is characterized by brush strokes created through expressive hand movements.

Akar started painting after receiving a canvas and some handprint paints when he turned four. Akar’s father, who eventually became his manager, was not able to recognize the boy’s talent immediately. However, when the father saw the child’s second and third paintings, he became convinced that his son was gifted.

The young artist’s paintings have been shown in several exhibits in his home country. Akar’s most recent paintings include a collaboration with German football star Manuel Neuer [NOH-yah]. One painting in this collaboration was sold for $12,000 and was donated to a children’s charity that Neuer supports.

After his art exhibits in Germany, Akar will travel to Paris in spring for a public display of his masterpieces.

Despite his early exposure to the world of art, Akar does not plan to become a painter when he grows up. The boy said he finds painting tiring because creating works of art is time-consuming. Akar dreams, instead, of becoming a professional football player.

Akar’s father said that he and his wife make sure that their son is not overworked. According to the father, he turns down a lot of artwork requests so that the child will not be pushed too hard.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it is a good idea to expose Akar to the business of selling art at a young age? Why or why not?
• If you were Akar’s parent, would you encourage the boy to pursue his dream of becoming a professional football player? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Do you think it is important to encourage children to explore their talents at a very young age? Why or why not?
• How can parents support their children in deciding what career to pursue? Explain.