Dubbed a "child Picasso" by the Indian media, five-year-old Shorya hit the headlines last month when India's most famous cartoonist, RK Laxman, 90, welcomed the budding artist into his home in Pune, Maharashtra. He was so impressed, his father, Aditya Singh says, that he suggested the pair put on a joint exhibition in Mumbai next month.

Shorya’s ‘assistants’, his older sisters aged 18 and 20, stand by, ready to open his collection of acrylic paints for him, ‘His hands are too little to handle the lids," explains his proud father, who organised his son’s first solo exhibition last year at Mumbai's Taj hotel.

Aditya, a successful property developer, disagrees that five is too young to be exposing his son to media attention. "Harry Potter is very young! There are a lot of young actors, so why not artists too? Of course five is incredibly young, but if what Shorya is doing is good, it should be shown to the people."

Incredibly enough, however, there are even younger child artists than Shorya out there, like, for example, Aelita Andre, a Russian-Australian girl living in Melbourne who is nine months younger and who has, unlike Shorya, sold her work.  Let’s not forget too, Marla Olmstead, the American abstract child artist who was featured in the New York Times in 2004 for having made $40,000 by the age of four, insane!

Check out Shorya’s website here.

Nicola Baird