Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Keane On Big Eyes


I have had these for a long time....my Mom actually got them in the early sixties.... they are among my favorite things...I recently read a post at http://ragtagsf.blogspot.com/ about Margaret Keane. I also read this article about mass market masterpieces...I am going to share some of the article with you...
When Margaret Keane began to paint her portraits of big-eyed children in San Francisco in the 1950s,she and her then husband, Walter Keane, were trendy members of the North Beach bohemian scene.Margaret had graduated from selling drawings to fellow students at high school to painting portraits of tourists and somehow, later, movie stars.But..it was Walter who took credit for some of her early paintings, claiming that the inspiration came from his time in Berlin, where the hungry post-war kids who filled the streets saddened him. He made the unusual move of opening his own gallery and then began mass-marketing Big Eye prints. The art world was horrified and the Keanes reviled within it, but the public with unprecedented fervour accepted their art.
The Keane relationship broke up in 1965 and later in 1970, Margaret revealed that it was HER and not her then husband who had painted the big-eyed faces.
She challenged Walter to a public paint-out in San Francisco Park. When the case came to court the judge ordered them both to paint. Margaret Keane produced a work within an hour while Walter Keane claimed he couldn't paint due to a sore shoulder and hand. Margaret won! Margaret has said that she painted the sadness as seen in her paintings from the early 60s reflecting her own inner emotions while she was married to Walter
After a first revival in the 1970s, early Keane was again in vogue in the late 1990s.Keane can now achieve $200,000 in the Keane Eyes Gallery in San Francisco. The paintings are now known as 'Big Eye'.The painting style originated by Keane has permeated the consciousness of literally millions of people.
What a great story! Don't you think? I love the 'Big-Eye' art....I have another one also...and I will post it later....it's beautiful today...wonderful bright sunshine...I have to go to the grocery store..and I also want to mow the lawn...also... clean out a closet full (700-800) of record albums..I don't know what to do with all these old albums???? Music from the Beatles on up.....maybe I should sell them on ebay????? I have no idea if there is a market out there for these or not. I also started to do some atcs last night (yippee...I feel the creativity starting to take hold)...and I plan to start on the shadowbox I must do...I am excited...after this last rain we had... all the Spring flowers are going crazy!!!!!

12 Comments:

Blogger Sheila said...

I too remember these Big Eye pictures...they were very popular at that time.
You could probably make a small fortune on eBay with those albums..try it and see.
We put some at the curb a few years ago and people were almost fighting over them. Stopping their cars and grabbing what they could..!
We didn't know about eBay then...!

10:56 AM  
Blogger joyce said...

THe big eye picutres are neat. There are collectors of those albums. I think they are called vinyl addicts. I saw a program on TV abut them. Some albums are worth a lot. You could probably find out on a search on the net.

11:15 AM  
Blogger CattyCat said...

Vicci do not sell the albums for little money. If the records are in good playing condition and th jackets are in good condition, they are worth a fortune. Literally. Pick out one that is old, in good condition, search it on e'bay and see what it goes for. If you are up to it, we can somehow figure it all out together because I need to figure it out for all my cartoon characatures (hundreds and hundreds of them) and my life time collection of old old postage stamps. We'll talk

1:58 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I remember those too. And so cool to know the story behind them. YOu always come up with some great storys to post!! Hugs to ya Girlie!!

5:23 PM  
Blogger sf said...

I LOVE THESE!
You are SO lucky to have them ---
all of mine were sold each time my nomadic parents needed funds for the next leg of the journey.
When I go to friends' homes and see their different fab childhood treasures, things I once had too, I think waah!
Then I think, well, it's just stuff, (at least for now) I do still have my memories!! And certainly take pleasure in retrospect.
sarah

8:08 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Yes, I love those Big Eyes. My daughter has two lovely painting ones hanging in her home, a gift from her uncle who wanted her to have them. They are even more special now, as that Uncle passed away last October.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Vicci: It's late....forgive all my mistakes in the previous comment!! Going to bed...goodnight!

10:56 PM  
Blogger Blue the Spa Girl said...

Vicci, I am still here! Hope you didn't miss me.
Loved this, I remember these from my childhood. Too cute! Big big eyes!

7:28 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Great story, really enjoyed it.

sandy

9:44 AM  
Blogger AnnieElf said...

I had a few of those way back when. Wish I still did. A very nice memory, Vicci. Definitely keepers.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Angela Marie said...

I remember these Big Eye pictures... someone in my family had them all over there house!? I will have to ask my mom who that was.
Wow! You have brought back a memory I will have to look more into.

9:44 PM  
Blogger skinnylittleblonde said...

Wow...what an interesting bit of info! Their eyes are captivating & they do look solemn & some even look scared, imo. I really like the ones your mom gave you. Peaceful.

10:12 PM  

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