3:05 PM PST, December 3, 2021
A 10-year-old San Diego boy steals the show at Miami Art Week happening now. One of the paintings from his collection caught the eye of “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara, who purchased one of the young artist’s pieces.
Andres Valencia, who has been called a “child prodigy,” has been painting since he was 4. It all started after his father showed him a film about Jean-Michel Basquiat and the young boy told his father: “I can do that,” The Miami Herald reported.
“I’m so happy,” was Andres Valencia’s reaction when he learned that Vergara purchased one of his works, The New York Post reported.
Vergara wasn’t the only famous person who was enamored by the boy’s talent. “The Wolf of Wall Street” author Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker turned felon, purchased one of Valencia’s paintings, as well.
Since Miami Art Week, which includes events including, Art Basel, and Art Miami, kicked off on Tuesday, Valencia’s entire collection of 17 paintings have already been sold, Emilie Adams at Chase Contemporary in Soho told Inside Edition Digital.
“We represent Andres Valencia’s work exclusively,” Adams said. “He was here for a press event in which we showed his paintings. None of them were for sale at that time. We released them for sale at Art Miami at the VIP event. During the VIP opening, all of his work sold out.”
Adams added: “It is surprising and delightful.”
“One of the things I love about Andres is that he doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. It’s a nod to how his parents are handing him. He’s a kid. It is a alot for a young person to take in and I think his parents are doing a tremendous job. They are letting him be 10,” Adams said, who is a parent herself.
Adams explained that Andres’s technique is unusual.
“He doesn’t sit down and lay out a sketch, but confidently goes to the canvas and starts to paint,” she said.
Nick Korniloff, executive director of Art Miami, told the Post that in his 30 years in the art world, “he never witnessed someone this young so talented.”
“The art world’s responsibility is to find the next great artists, and we’ve done that with Andres. He’s gone global in 36 hours,” Korniloff said.
Valencia’s family did not disclose the amount Vergara and Belfort paid. However, his art ranges from $5,000 to $20,000, The New York Post reported.
Korniloff said Valencia already has an offer from a New York-based collector, the Herald reported.
Other celebrities in attendance were Brooke Shields, Channing Tatum, and street artist Shepard Fairey.
Valencia’s parents, Lupe (Guadalupe) and Elsa said they noticed their son’s talent early on and nurtured it by giving him paint, brushes, and canvases to create, according to the Post.
Describing their son as an “old soul who reveres artists like Picasso, Modigliani, Day, George Condo, and Basquait.” They said, their son, likes to listen to The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Freddie Mercury, and Michael Jackson when he paints. And, sometimes he can stay up, as late as 11 p.m.
Some of the canvasses that Valencia paints on are even bigger than him. However, the fourth-grader, who is still growing, gets around it by using a ladder, his father said.
In between all the interviews the young modern artist, who collects vintage action figures, made it to the toy store, a promise his mom made to him, the Post reported.
Part of the proceeds from the sales will benefit the Perry J. Cohen Foundation, named after Korniloff’s son, Perry, who was lost at sea at age 14 in 2015.
Miami Art Week runs through Sunday.