It started with an Instagram story. A proud mother posting artwork by her child. But oh, the mother is Kim Kardashian, the child is North West and the artwork is not a pasta collage, but a serene snowy mountainscape complete with a water-reflective lake and a lilac dappled meadow. So yes, naturally the story the went viral, and obviously the question was asked: did North West really paint this? “I’m supposed to work but I can’t stop thinking about how North West did not paint this,” read one tweet that’s now been liked 209,000 times.
Critics suggest it draws lots of comparisons to American painter Bob Ross' work, which would make sense if we are to believe one TikTok user who claims her mom Celeste Astor Frederickson is North's teacher, and gets all her students (famous or not) to have a go at the landscape. Still, introducing what is an undeniably impressive piece of work from a 7-year-old, without so much as a hint of a caveat, is a bit, well... unbelievable. "She had help, but girl's got talent," would have sufficed.
But let's be charitable for a second and presume that this is true. That North West has a(nother) very special gift. It's hard to believe that Kim, who's fluent in social media, and eager to paint aspirational, familial perfection, wouldn't live stream the process. Or that Kris wouldn't be straight on the phone to Sotheby's.
Kardashian-West's rebuttals were frenzied and furious. “DON’T PLAY WITH ME WHEN IT COMES TO CHILDREN!!! North worked incredibly hard on her painting which took several weeks to complete”, she wrote in her Instagram stories. She continued enraged: “How dare you see children doing awesome things and then try to accuse them of NOT being awesome!?!??! Allow every child to be GREAT!!! NORTH WEST PAINTED THAT PERIOTDDDDABCDEFGZFDT!!!”.
She later posted artwork done by her soon to be ex-husband when he was a child, you know, just hammer this inherited talent home. But to finally – and inconclusively – call time on the debate, Kim posted an Hermès bag that she'd let her daughter clumsily cover in handprints when she “was not even one-year-old,” swiftly calling it “a masterpiece”. “I knew she would be such a great artist, right North?”
No, seriously, we believe you Kim. PERIODDDDABCDEFGZFDT.