Collecting artwork has always fascinated me. Some people do it for the art itself, others for its provenance, some to study the artists style and some others who have a deep passion/appreciation for the artist itself. The originals, the limited editions, the honest fakes, the prints, letters photographs and the list goes on. I always wanted to collect works of artists I like/admire but my desire to clean and tidy up has always conflicted with owning things that are not absolutely necessary :).
This article though is not about my quirks. This is about a few pieces of artwork I have added to my minuscule collection. These are lithographs from the 1960s and 1970s some of which I shall share over a few blogs. The title of the blog should have given you some clue but for those who haven't been enlightened yet these are lithos from the works of Margaret Keane. Now if your an art history buff or one who was reading the papers in the early 70s, the name should strike you right away. Margaret Keane was famous as the painter of the kids with big eyes filled with emotion and sometimes sorrow. The case was more famous because throughout the 1960s Walter Keane her husband took credit for the paintings and sold works of art under his name as he kept Margaret aside and had her sometimes spend 16 hours a day just painting in a room. The tale itself is pretty moving so much so that one of her art work collector director Tim Burton is coming up with a movie on her titled "Big Eyes" staring Amy Adams and Christopher Waltz. Google her and you will find tons of tales stories and interviews of her and her life. It wasn't until the year 1970 that she, on a radio program announced that she was the original artist of the pictures. After some back and forth battle of words the case went to the courts where the judge is dramatic fashion asked both of them to recreate a painting in front of everyone. Walter suddenly developed a shoulder problem while Margret finished the painting in front of everyone in 53 minutes flat. You can't just come up with this stuff.
Anyways it was important to share this information because these prints that I have actually state that this is work done by Walter Keane the husband who took the credit for Margaret's work. Most prints available today actually has Margaret's name on them. This squarely put this print in the pre-1970s period when they were printed. The details of the eyes are particularly amazing and detailed. In most of the big eye paintings the spotlight is just below the eyes typically highlighting the nose and mouth areas almost as if saying here are these big eyes brimming with emotion but thats really not where the focus is. It has been mostly stated that during the phase when Margaret was shuttered by Walter from social interactions her sadness was reflected through the eyes of the children she painted. I have a few of her prints and these are two with the big eyes that I thought were unique for this reason. Do share this story with others cause it is a beautiful one. More artwork coming in other blogs.......