Kim Kardashian West is back in the art press, but it has nothing to do with a custom George Condo Birkin bag or a controversial gallery exhibition.
This time, it’s because Kim and Kanye’s daughter, North, West appears to be a budding artist—although the internet refuses to believe it.
In a snap posted to an Instagram story, Kim shared a photo of a landscape painting with the caption, “My little artist North,” a reference to the 7-year-old Skims heiress. The painting is also signed “North :)” in the bottom right corner.
The work’s authenticity caused quite a stir on social media when it was first unveiled. So what’s really going on?
What’s the issue?
At first glance, this painting seems pretty advanced for someone of North’s age. Twitter users questioned how a 7-year-old could have executed a work that looks straight out of Bob Ross’s studio, complete with near-perfect perspective, fog on a mountaintop, and reflections in the water.
They also wondered whether the “North :)” signature had been digitally added to the photo because of a bit of graininess around that particular area of the picture.
So did North actually paint this?
Apparently, yes. The backlash and disbelief on Twitter got so heated that both Kim and her friend Tracy Romulus jumped into the fray to clear up the rumors.
“My daughter and her best friend have been taking a serious oil painting class where their talents and creativity are being encouraged and nurtured,” Kardashian explained.
“As a proud mom, I wanted to share her work with everyone. I’m seeing op-ed pieces in the media and social media from grown adults breaking down whether or not my child actually painted this.”
But can we really trust people who are that deep in the Kardashian camp?
An independent confirmation came from the daughter of the art teacher who says she taught North to paint.
“I am probably one of the only people in the world who has evidence to prove that Kim is not lying,” said Camryn Frederickson in a video posted to her TikTok account. She went on to explain that her mom has been an art teacher for 30 years, and “everyone that comes through her classes goes through this exact same painting when they’re starting out.”
Frederickson even showed a picture of herself at North’s age with her own version of the painting, suggesting that many 7-year-olds with moderate artistic abilities could have done what North did.
So is North the next Victoria de Lesseps?
Stay tuned to find out.