The Legacy of 'Big Eyes' Painter Margaret Keane
Known for her painted portraits of subjects with big eyes, Margaret Keane leaves behind a legacy. Born in 1927 in Nashville, Tennessee, the artist practiced her craft throughout her life until her death in 2022. Throughout her career, Keane’s so-called “big eyed waifs” garnered attention of many, including Andy Warhol and Tim Burton. Get lost in the piercing stares of her subjects as you learn more about the life and legacy of Margaret Keane with Artsper!
Margaret Keane credited Amedeo Modigliani‘s work as a major influence on the way she painted women since 1959. Modigliani is known for his haunting portraits that often feature subjects without eyes. It is believed that he only painted a subject’s eyes when he felt he truly knew the person behind them.
Other artists who influenced her in the use of color, dimension and composition include Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt and Picasso. Women in general inspired the painter, as they remained her primary subject throughout her life.
The legacy left behind
The enigmatic artist died on June 26th, 2022 at the age of 94. She left behind a significant legacy, notably her 1986 court battle with ex-husband Walter Keane, in which she proved that he was fraudulently claiming her work as his own. The trial and Margaret Keane’s oeuvre inspired the 2014 Tim Burton film “Big Eyes”.
Keane’s works inspired more than just a featured film, however, with characters in the cartoon “Powerpuff Girls” resembling the big-eyed subjects. Artists and toy-makers alike were, too, inspired by the wide eyes of Keane.
With paintings housed in the National Museum of Modern Art in Madrid, the National Museum Of Western Art in Tokyo, the Brooks Memorial Museum & Tennessee Fine Art Museum, and many more, Margaret Keane’s international legacy lives on.
Discover Keane’s work and more stunning portraiture on Artsper.
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