We are excited. The book has finally arrived from the printer, and is now available!
Citizen Keane. How saccharine kitsch art went big and reproducible art became available in Blue Chip Stamp catalogues and was seen in nearly every suburban kitchen and bedroom throughout the ‘60s.
Here’s the story of Margaret Keane, who created big eye waifs. Margaret admits that the tots’ appearance was acknowledgment of her own sadness. The book also tells the story of husband Walter, who tried to grab credit for painting these popular objects but whose true genius was in successfully marketing this kitsch across the globe.
Here’s the story of writer Tom Wolfe and his craziest work-for-hire, and how he pseudonymously credited Keane Big Eye art as being comparable to Michelangelo and Rembrandt.
Here’s the story of angry art students who let loose dozens of rats on Margaret Keane, who was speaking to them in a Stanford University auditorium.
Here’s the story of thousands of copycat artifacts that attempted to cash in on the Big Eye trend.
Here’s the story of decades of weird legal suits, finally culminating in victory for the used and abused Margaret Keane.
Within this book are dozens of news photographs of the Keanes as they promoted their art and hobnobbed with celebrities.
Here too are genius satires of Keane paintings created by Drew Friedman, Frank Kozik and Paul Mavrides. And the Keane-like doll “Little Miss No Name” as sold through J.C. Penney’s catalogue.
Yes, here are the lies behind the big eyes as written by Cletus Nelson and me.
The Keane saga will later take form in a movie called “Big Eyes”, directed by Tim Burton and written by Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, three people who earlier made a movie about Ed Wood, subject of another Feral House biography.
You can get a signed copy here: http://feralhouse.com/
If you haven’t seen them yet, here’s a story in Vice: http://www.vice.com/
And the NY Times here: http://www.nytimes.com/
Have a look at the video trailer for the book: