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"Big Eyes" artist Margaret Keane dies at age 94

AuthorOscar Holland, CNN

Artist's unique painting of a person with rounded eyes Margaret Keane died at the age of 94.

Immortal story in the movie "Big Eyes" about her life directed by Keane-Tim Burton, whose husband notoriously praised her work before losing the famous court battle-Sunday Died at home in Napa, California. Her death was confirmed to CNN by Robert Brown, executive director of her gallery, Keane Eyes.

Born in 1927 in Nashville, Tennessee, Keane enrolled in an art class at the age of 10. After she attended the Trafagen Fashion School, an art and design school in New York City, she developed her own style. A melancholy expression of women, children and animals like cartoons. She is often referred to as a big-eyed "wife."

"I was drawing my inner feelings," she told the New York Times in 1992. Why did God forgive wickedness?

In 1955, she married real estate agent Walter Keane. Walter Keene offered to sell her own painting, secretly seeing off her own painting as her own. She discovered her deception only when he took him to the San Francisco night club The Hungryi, where he often rowed her work.

"Boy and Poodle" (1982) by Margaret Keane.

Margaret Keane's "Boy and Poodle" (1982). Credits:© Keane Eyes Gallery, San Francisco, California

"He made me sit in the corner" KeaneRemembered in 2014 to the Guardian, "And he was there, talking and selling pictures. Someone approached me and said," Do you also draw? " rice field. And I suddenly-a terrifying shock-'Is he acknowledging the credit of my painting? '"

Keane finally agreed to continue the arrangement, and her husband had great commercial success. The paintings were widely sold in the 1960s, not only as canvases and prints. , Plates, postcards, and mugs.

The work divided the world of art, but some critics dismissed them as clichéd and overly kitch. But it was also praised by people like Andy Warhol. "I think what Keane did is great," the pop artist once told Life magazine in a quote that opened a Burton movie. "If it's bad, many wouldn't like it."

After divorcing Walter in 1965, Keane moved from California to Hawaii, where she publicly worked for her. I started to recognize the achievements. When her ex-husband rejected her claim, she famously arranged a "paint off" at Union Square in San Francisco, but he declined her challenge.

In 1986, he was once again asked to prove that he could reproduce the unique style of painting. This time in front of the judges. Keane sued him (and USA Today) in Liber in a court in Honolulu after continuing to claim credit. The judge challenged both Keane and her ex-husband to draw a big-eyed child, but the latter refused because of her shoulder injury. She completed the court painting in less than an hour.

The jury was convinced and Keane was awarded $ 4 million, which was later overturned. She has never been compensated. "I didn't care about money," she later said, according to her scandal book "Citizen Keane." "I just wanted to prove the fact that I painted."

Keane's work is 2014 in Burton's "Big Eyes", in which the artist was played by Amy Adams. Has attracted new attention with the release of. On Wednesday, film co-author Larry Karashevsky paid tribute to Keane on Twitter and she "thanks" for spending a lot of time discovering her beautiful spirit. ".

"It took 10 years to display her'Big Eyes' on her screen. She knew to the world her truth about her life and her art. I wanted to get it, "he wrote.

According to her gallery, Keane continued to paint her almost every day until the 90's. According to a statement posted on Instagram by Gallery on Wednesday, she survives with her daughter, five stepchildren (from separate marriages), and eight stepchildren.

"We lose her love, creative ingenuity, and her passion to continue making her new work until her death," her statement reads. I did.