Pablo Picasso once said, 'It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child. Little did he know that almost 40 years after he died, a childs painting would be compared to his masterpieces. Aelita Andre, from Australia, is only four years old, but already she is commanding up to $24,000 a painting. She is hoping that her brightly spattered daubs, which have sold for thousands of dollars internationally, will have the same success when her first solo exhibition opens in New York tomorrow. The Melbourne prodigys paintings have already been compared to modern art greats like Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso. The four-year-olds proud dad Michael Andre said: 'She chooses the colours herself. Shes so determined, and forceful, and decisive, and shell actually get angry if you attempt to suggest a colour. Her Russian mother Nikka Kalashnikova told 'If a child is very talented, you have to give them the opportunity. Aelita began painting before she could walk at 11-months old and now has her own space to create her artworks, mainly using acrylics on canvas. Once her parents saw that she had a talent, they submitted her work to a local gallery, prompting the owner to arrange a special exhibition for her, unaware of her tender age - then only two years old. While most of her paintings now retail for between around $5,000 and $10,000 it was a picture of the Russian Mir space station that set her record price of $24,000 in Hong Kong. Her parents insist they are not forcing her to paint and that the work should be judged on its artistic merits and not her age and said they hope her success paves the way for other talented children. Mr Andre said: 'Aelita had a very, very difficult run. When her work was initially judged, it was purely on the painting itself. Nikka deliberately withheld her age just to see what the reaction was. Aelita is showing at the Agora Gallery in New York until June 25. DM