Meet the Toddler Who Earned the Guinness World Record as Youngest Male Artist

The budding abstract painter is not quite 2 years old.
17-months-old Ace-Liam Nana Sam Ankrah enters the Guinness Book of World Records as youngest male artist.
17-months-old Ace-Liam Nana Sam Ankrah enters the Guinness Book of World Records as youngest male artist. / Anadolu/GettyImages

Vincent van Gogh was 27 years old when he first picked up a paint brush. Edward Hopper did not become a successful artist until he was over 40, and the folk artist Grandma Moses didn’t begin painting her charming scenes of rural life until her late 70s.

Ghanaian artist Ace-Liam Nana Sam Ankrah, by contrast, sold his painting when he was 1 year and 152 days old. That distinction earned him him a Guinness World Record as the world’s youngest male artist.

Ace-Liam Nana Sa, Ankrah, Guinness World Record holder as youngest male artist
Ace-Liam sold nine of the 10 paintings on display at his first exhibition. / Anadolu/GettyImages

According to his mother Chantelle, Ankrah’s interest in painting began when he was just starting to crawl. As she told the Guinness World Records website, she placed paint and a piece of canvas on the floor to keep her son busy while she worked on commissions. (An artist herself, Chantelle runs a cocktail bar and painting class in Ghana’s capital city, Accra.)

Upon seeing the abstract compositions Ankrah was making on his own, Chantelle had the idea of contacting Guinness World Records. To qualify for the record of youngest male artist, Ankrah first needed to exhibit and sell his work, so Chantelle arranged for an exhibition at the Museum of Science and Technology in Accra in January 2024. After selling nine of 10 of the exhibited works, Ankrah was officially recognized as the new record holder.

Ace-Liam Nana Sam Ankrah, youngest male painter
Ace-Liam composes all of the paintings himself, but asks his mom Chantelle to open the paint bottles. / Anadolu/GettyImages

“His abstract paintings are inspired by the world around him,” Chantelle told Guiness World Records, “colors, shapes, textures, and his mood. Every painting is an expression of his curiosity and joy in discovering new things.” She stresses that Ankrah makes his work independently, only calling on her to open the paint bottles and clean up when he is done, which he signifies with a proud phrase, “Mama finish.”

While Ankrah may be the world’s youngest male artist, he isn’t the world’s youngest artist period. That honor goes to the world’s youngest female artist record holder, India’s Arushi Bhatnagar, who staged her first exhibit and sold her first painting in 2003 (for 5000 rupees, or about $107 at the time), when she was 344 days old. 

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