Citizen Keane: The Big Lies Behind the Big Eyes by Adam Parfrey, Cletus Nelson

By Adam Parfrey, Cletus Nelson

Teary, big-eyed orphans and a large number of trashy knockoffs epitomized American kitsch artwork as they clogged thrift shops for decades.

When Adam Parfrey tracked down Walter Keane—the credited artist of the weepy waifs, for a San Diego Reader hide tale in 1992—he came across a few surprising proof. many years of court cases and countersuits published the truth that Keane used to be extra of a con guy than an artist, and that he pressured his spouse Margaret to signal his identify to her personal work. consequently, these weepy waifs would possibly not were as capricious an invention as they seemed.

Parfrey's tale was once reprinted in Juxtapoz journal and encouraged a Margaret Keane exhibition on the Laguna artwork Museum. And now director Tim Burton is filming a film concerning the Keanes referred to as Big Eyes, and it's scheduled for unencumber in 2014. Burton's Ed Wood, starring Johnny Depp, used to be dependent upon the Feral condominium publication edited and released by way of Parfrey in regards to the angora sweater-wearing B-film director.

Citizen Keane is a book-length enlargement of Parfrey's unique article, supplying attention-grabbing biographical and sociological information, pictures, colour reproductions, and appendices with felony records and pseudonymous essays through Tom Wolfe inflating sizeable eye artwork to these painted by means of the good masters.

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Extra info for Citizen Keane: The Big Lies Behind the Big Eyes

Sample text

By the way, the Paris street scenes did not have any faces in them. ”33 Keane wrote in his autobiography that he met Margaret in “late Spring of 1955” at the annual outdoor exhibition of the Society for Western Artists. Walter claimed he was there to show his stylized paintings of the “lost children” he’d encountered in Hong Kong, Tahiti, and Chinatown in San Francisco. It seems likelier that he was showing Paris street scenes and not all the alleged works he’d done in those exotic settings. During the early 1950s, when Keane claimed he was developing his art and showing it to famous people, it’s more likely he was Gray Flannel Suit: The Reinvented Walter Keane selling real estate and appearing at local art festivals.

He drew a hot bath for the two of us and asked me to wash his back. I laughed and told him Mama did Walter’s. When we got out of the tub, Jacques asked me if I would kiss his hard penis. ” He took my hand and with violence in his voice demanded I hold it and kiss it or he would hit me across the face. I was, and still am, terrified. I told him “No” and begged him to go away. All the time his fingers were tickling me between my thighs. 21 Overcome by rage and despair, Colette drops out of sight.

The children in your paintings are so sad. It hurts my eyes to see them. ” 35 Of course Keane isn’t the kind of artist who lets just anybody touch his canvases, and he coldly reprimands her. ” 36 Margaret apologizes and explains that other than a part-time gig painting neckties, she has little background or training in the fine arts. Later, when the art show ends, she reappears, offering to help him pack up all of his paintings. Ever the obliging gentleman, he invites his new admirer to join him and a handful of North Beach artists for dinner and drinks.

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