Official Movie Synopsis:
Big Eyes tells the outrageous true story of one of the most epic art frauds in history. In the 1960s, painter Walter Keane (played by Christoph Waltz) had reached success beyond belief, revolutionizing the commercialization of popular art with enigmatic paintings of waifs with big eyes. The bizarre and shocking truth would eventually be discovered: Walter’s works were actually created by his wife Margaret (played by Amy Adams). The Keanes, it seemed, had been living a colossal lie that had fooled the entire world
I had the great pleasure of experiencing the movie BIG EYES this past week. As an artist myself, the story fascinated me. As a woman, it saddened me. Margaret Keane’s life is a story of struggle, oppression and domestic abuse. She had to endure years of silence and anguish as her narcissistic husband rose to fame and fortune on her talents. A con man, with charm to spare, Walter Keane was able to convince her to go along with the largest Art Fraud in history. Together they convinced the world that he was the creator of hundreds of her Big Eyed painting of children.
There was a time in our country not long ago, that a divorced woman couldn’t support herself, even more so for a divorced woman with children. “Women are meant for the home” I think the phrase was. Thank goodness we don’t live in those times anymore. You can see in this movie, how women sometimes had to compromise themselves, their talent and even their morals just to survive in the male dominated society of the time. Walter started telling people he was the creator of these painting, and with intimidation from him and no strong sense of herself Margaret went along.
“Back then, women kind of went along with their husbands, didn’t rock the boat. He finally wore me down,” Margaret says. “While we were fighting this out at home, the paintings were just flying off the walls. Posters were selling. It was unbelievable. It snowballed overnight. I kept getting in deeper and deeper. I didn’t know how I could get out of it. I lost all respect for him and myself, and lived in a nightmare.”
— MARGARET KEANE
She had lived this way for more than 15 years, when in 1986 she convinced a Honolulu jury that she was actually the painter of the Big Eyes. She was awarded $4 million, when the federal judge hearing her suit against her ex-husband ordered them both to produce a painting in the courtroom. Margaret whipped up a classic big-eyed “Keane” in 54 minutes; Walter refused, citing a sore shoulder. “I never saw a cent of it,” Margaret Keane says with a laugh. “But I won.” (quotes source: sfgate.com)
Creative spirit in abundance at 87, Keane lives with her daughter Jane in Napa and continues to express her view of the world through art. You can see her work at the Keane Eyes Gallery in San Francisco. or visit her website www.keane-eyes.com. Where you can purchase prints and view her latest work. Thank you Margaret Keane for standing up for what is right, in turn showing the world WOMEN artists can make a living with their talent. (She also showed us that WOMEN ARE WARRIORS, and can dig deep and always find the strength to tackle anything!) This movie about one of the largest art frauds in history is a MUST SEE!
To learn more about the movie visit: bigeyesfilm.com
For a little fun, they even have a selfie generator! Upload your selfie and get your own Big Eye Portrait! Here's mine!