Keane Sad-Eye Kids (also known as Waif or Big Eyed)

Submitted by karenvc November 21st, 2009
Certifikitsch Winner

These two pictures reside in my pink 50s poodle themed bathroom.

For many years Margaret Keane was married to a man who claimed credit for what she painted. To prove she was in fact the artist and not her former husband, she painted in court before a Federal Judge and jury, an original oil on canvas painting. When her ex-husband was asked to paint by the judge, his reply was: “I can’t today, because I have a sore shoulder.” Needless to say Margaret won the case and she continued to paint those Big Eyes we have come to love so dearly.

3 Responses to “Keane Sad-Eye Kids (also known as Waif or Big Eyed)”

  1. Allee Willis

    It’s amazing how many people still don’t know this story. It should be taught in schools, women’s shelters, everywhere where there’s even a chance that anyone, male or female, is bullied into giving up their own identity and living in someone else’s shadow. Not getting credit for what you do, especially when it turns into a massive pop-culture trend, is a whole other kind of abuse.

    I was never really into collecting Keane paintings or prints as the trend took off so fast and at that time I liked the more obscure. But almost everyone I knew had one hanging on their wood paneled wall so I was surrounded by these gaunt figures with the massive bulging eyes. There’s no arguing that they are incredible Kitsch. And the addition of a toy poodle always helps.

  2. windupkitty

    Oh My. My aunt still has some originals (like HUGE portrait paintings “children from around the world” in their specified ethnic style of dress) of her and my mom collected her dolls. I was both fascinated and terrified by them when I was a kid. Looking at them now, I think those might be trying to steal my soul…..

  3. kookykitsch

    Wow, my livingroom and part of my bedroom is filled with Keanes, much to my husband’s dismay. I tend to favor the girls with kitties, as I’m a cat person, myself. The sadder the “better!”