Big Eye Keane Paintings
San Francisco, California
Walter and Margaret Keane were the artists who created the 1960s pop culture phenom of the Big Eye paintings of kids.
Well, not exactly.
Walter was assumed to be the creative force behind the work, but after their divorce, a courtroom performance proved otherwise. Margaret got up in front of a Federal judge and created an iconic, bulge-orbed waif in real time. Walter, on the other hand, was reported to have said "I can't today, because I have a sore shoulder."
In subsequent decades, creepy big-eyed figures became more commonplace, from Precious Moments, to Japanese manga characters, to goggle-eyed E.T.s and generations of neo-Keane illustrators pushing on to ocular extremes. But the original Keane eyes still have their appeal.
You can see Keane paintings, a collection spanning a 40+ year period, at the Keane Eyes Gallery in San Francisco. By appointment. Margaret Keane lives in the SF Bay Area.