Freddie's mother, a lecturer at the Hampstead School of Art and a freelance art critic, began posting Freddie's artwork online to collector, Charles Saatchi's online gallery, passing the work off as that of a more accomplished artist. Making up plausible descriptions such as this for 'Sunrise'...
"A bold use of colour. Inspired by the 'plein air' habit of painting by Monet, drawing on the natural world that surrounds us all."
You can read more about Freddie and see images of him at work in an article that appeared on the Daily Mail web site titled, Toddler fools the art world into buying his tomato ketchup paintings.
Whilst Freddie's Mum admits it was all just for a bit of a laugh, things began to get serious when Freddie's work started to sell and he got offers to exhibit his work in real world galleries.
Now I'm must admit that Freddie's work isn't half bad. It's not ground breaking but it does have the freedom of expression that only comes with childhood. Before the realisation sets in that paintings are supposed to look like something that can be recognised (or so we think).
However, given that his mum has talked him up in such a way as to fool respected galleries and collectors into thinking he's much more established, I'd say she's probably set Freddie's career back a couple of years. Considering Freddie's two that means he's probably, at the very least, going to have to go back to using the ketchup that he began with.
Many people have the view that abstract expressionism (which is what Freddie's art is) has no place being called art. I disagree. This kind of art can be very powerful, moving and/or just plain pleasing to the eye. However, at some point we have to stop fooling ourselves into thinking that this kind of art requires advanced technical skill. It doesn't - as Freddie and his contemporaries (and he does have them - think four year old Marla) clearly demonstrate.
Personally I find creating art like Freddie's difficult because I'm find it hard to attach my emotions to non subjective mark making. It just doesn't express everything I have to say. However if you really enjoy just making those marks and gestures you can really make an abstract work seem alive.
At some point we have to admit that this kind of art is accessible to toddlers simply because they just enjoy spreading the paint around.