Today, PrintMag’s Steve Heller writes about Tim Burton’s new film “Big Eyes,” which brings those long-hidden 1960s’ iconic portraits back into the light for a new generation. I was a kid but I remember those paintings, and both their proliferation, and the disdain with which many people viewed them (or maybe the latter was just my mom.)
I suspect the movie will shed new light on them as art (as well as the story behind them, of painter Margaret Keane and how her then-husband claimed the art as his own) and we’ll no doubt probably soon be seeing reproductions and inspired derived artworks inspired by the movie. I haven’t seen the “Big Eyes” yet, but I’m intrigued.
Interestingly, the paintings Heller shares in his article look much better than I remember them. I wonder if it’s the passage of time that makes me less critical, or if it’s simply that the selection of real-people portraits are less exaggerated than the imaginary kiddie paintings. Or is it that anime style has made me more receptive to “big eyes?” (I’m going with #2.) But probably it’s that I have a more mature appreciation of ability and technique, and even if I am not a huge fan of some of the overly cute images, I find myself liking others.
Have you seen the film? What did you think, and how do you view Margaret Keane’s paintings?