Posts Tagged ‘Amy Adams’

Big Eyes Poster Tim BurtonI saw an ad last night for Big Eyes, the new film from director Tim Burton that stars Christopher Waltz and Amy Adams.  It is the story of Walter Keane, the man who built an empire from painting and marketing images of big-eyed waifs in the 1950′ and 60’s.  If you lived in that era, seeing some of Keane’s work was inevitable as it seemed to be everywhere.

I know that for me it is one of the first memories I have from that time of something close to art.  I wasn’t a fan– they made me uneasy, actually– but I couldn’t help notice their presence wherever I would look.

But the true story behind these paintings was the fact that Walter Keane only claimed to have painted the work.  It was actually the work of his second wife, Margaret.  Walter absorbed the accolades and celebrity as the work became more and more popular as it was mass produced and spread worldwide.  But Walter merely added his signature after Margaret had finished each painting in the basement of their home and claimed it as his own.

Eventually, this led to the breakup of their marriage.  Margaret then went public with the truth and for years, the couple had a public dispute over the authenticity and ownership of the work.  After Walter had published an article in the USA Today, this brought about a slander suit against him and the USA Today from Margaret.  The whole thing actually culminated in a proposed paint-off in the courtroom.  Walter declined, saying that his shoulder was injured.  Margaret painted for nearly an hour and won the verdict from the jury and a  4 million  dollar award.

Of course, she never saw a penny as Walter had sq1uandered much of the wealth generated from those sad big eyes.

I think this might be an interesting film.


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