Posts Tagged ‘Tim Burton’

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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gorey gashlycrumb tiniesOne of my favorite children’s books ( well, kind of children’s book) is from the slightly skewed mind of Edward Gorey, the late, American born ( although he is widely thought to be British) artist-illustrator/nonsense writer.  The book is The Gashlycrumb Tinies which is set up as a primer for the ABC’s, a veritable alphabet of the Gashlycrumb children’s demises.

It is macabre and perhaps not really for children but it is full of humor and imagination that Gorey brought to much of his work, up until his death in 2000.  You can easily see the influence of Gorey on the work of Tim Burton and others.

gorey a is for amy

It starts with A is for Amy who fell down the stairs and finishes with Z is for Zillian who drank too much gin.  In between are 24 other little scenarios that play (or haunt) on the imagination.  My favorite might be N is for Neville who died of ennui although I do like B is for Basil assaulted by bears.  If you would like to see the whole alphabet simply click on the image of Amy or Basil and you’ll be whisked to it so you might enjoy it in it’s entirety.

gorey b is for basil

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