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 paintings 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 upon a few stunning evidence. a long time of complaints and countersuits published the truth that Keane used to be extra of a con guy than an artist, and that he compelled his spouse Margaret to signal his identify to her personal work. for this reason, 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 in regards to the Keanes referred to as Big Eyes, and it's scheduled for unencumber in 2014. Burton's Ed Wood, starring Johnny Depp, was once dependent upon the Feral apartment booklet edited and released by way of Parfrey concerning the angora sweater-wearing B-film director.

Citizen Keane is a book-length enlargement of Parfrey's unique article, delivering attention-grabbing biographical and sociological information, pictures, colour reproductions, and appendices with criminal records and pseudonymous essays through Tom Wolfe inflating massive eye paintings to these painted through the nice masters.

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Tennessee farmers were already struggling during the 1920s when the price of tobacco and cotton began to fall. Yet it was the 1930 collapse of Caldwell and Company, a Nashville-based megabank, which sent the Tennessee economy into free fall. The powerful firm controlled the largest chain of banks in the region and when Caldwell went under, the disaster set off a wave of panics, bank runs, and bankruptcies, and over a hundred banks and financial institutions went out of business. The ensuing cash crunch left farmers and businesses unable to obtain much-needed credit.

A Jehovah’s Witness publication. ”46 The frequent bouts of illness left her by herself for long periods of time and when she wasn’t given to contemplating spiritual matters Margaret also developed another precocious obsession. “I have always loved to paint,” she remembered in a 2012 interview. ”47 The young artist sometimes earned the ire of her teachers by doodling in the margins of her textbooks—interestingly, even those early drawings showed her lifelong obsession with eyes. In elementary school, her parents enrolled her in art classes and she transitioned from sketches to painting and other mediums.

59 In 1958, Keane pulled off a brilliant coup and arranged to hang Margaret’s paintings at the hungry i (the “i” stood for id), one of the hottest attractions in North Beach. Known for its threesided stage and brick wall background, the club was owned by Enrico Banducci, a beret-wearing former concert violinist with a knack for spotting the next big thing. Banducci’s establishment offered nightly entertainment along with espresso, wine, and sandwiches. During its heyday in the ’50s and ’60s, the club became a worldfamous proving ground for stand-up comics, singers, and folk groups.

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